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ANUAL ON SUBUWACE

INVESTIGATIONS

1988

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Published
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444 North Officials cpitd streer, N.W., suite


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AASHTO T I T L E M S I 88 Ob39804 O O L L b L 3 240

Special Instructions to
Manual on Subsurface Investigations
1988

Please insert Title Page and Pages i and ii behind inside red cover.

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A A S H T O T I T L E MSI 88 W 0637804 0011614 187 M

MANUAL ON SUBSURFACE
INVESTIGATIONS

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1988

Published by the American Association


of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Inc.
444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 225
Washington, D.C. 20001

@Copyright, 1988, by the American Association of State Highway and


Transportation Officials. All Rights Resewed. Printed in the United
States of America. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced
in any form without written permission of the publishers.

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= 0639804 O O L L b L 5
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A A S H T O T I T L E MSI 88 013 W

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY


AND TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
1987

President: John R. Tabb, Mississippi


Vice President: Leno Menghini, Wyoming
Elected Regional Members:
Region I Susan C. Crampton, Vermont
Kermit Justice, Delaware
Region II William S. Ritchie, Jr., West Virginia
Ray D. Pethtel, Virginia
Region III Warren Smith, Ohio
Wayne Muri, Missouri
Region IV E. Dean Tisdale, Idaho
Charles L. Miller, Arizona

Past Presidents:
Henry Gray, Arkansas
William S. Ritchie, Jr., Virginia
John Clements, New Hampshire
Richard A. Ward, Oklahoma
Thomas D. Moreland, Georgia
Darre11 V. Manning, Idaho
Robert H. Hunter, Missouri

Secretary of Trnrisporfatiori: Elizabeth Dole (Ex Officio)


Treasurer: Clyde Pyers, Maryland
Chairpersorts of the Standing Committees:
Duane Berentson, Washington, Standing Committee on Administration
Frederick P. Salvucci, Massachusetts, Standing Committee on Planning
Leo Trombatore, California, Standing Committee on Highways
Raymond H. Hogrefe, Nebraska, Standing Committee on Highway Traffic Safety
Franklin E. White, New York, Standing Committee on Water Transportation
C. Leslie Dawson, Kentucky, Standing Committee on Aviation
James Pitz, Michigan, Standing Committee on Public Transportation
Henry Gray, Arkansas, Standing Committee on Railway Conference
Sam W. Waggoner, Mississippi, Special Select Committee Conference of
Commissioners and Boards

Executive Director: Francis B . Francois, Washington, D.C. (Ex Officio)

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AASHTO T I T L E MSI 88 0639804 O O L L b L b T 5 T

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY


AND TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS
HIGHWAY SUBCOMMITTEE ON MATERIALS
1987

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Chairman: Charles L. Miller, Arizona
(602) 255-7226
Vice Chairman: William T. Stapler, Georgia
(404) 363-7510
Secretary: Donald Fohs, FHWA
(703) 285-2001

Alabama, Larry Lockett, William E. Page New Hampshire, Philip E. McIntyre


Alaska, Doyle Ross New Jersey, E. R. Wokoun
Arizona, Gary L. Cooper, Charles L. Miller New Mexico, Doug Hanson
Arkansas, Ralph J. Hall New York, Donald N. Goeffroy,
California, Ray Forsyth James J. Murphy
Colorado, Frank Abel North Carolina, R. W. Reaves
Connecticut, Keith R. Lane, Charles E. Dougan North Dakota, Wilfred Wolf,
Delaware, Alfred D. Donofrio Robert T. Peterson
D.C., Virginia Mok Ohio, George C. Young, John T. Parton
Florida, Murray Yates, L. L. Smith Oklahoma, Jack Telford, Jim Garrett
Georgia, William T. Stapler Oregon, W. J. Quinn
Hawaii, Walter Kuroiwa Pennsylvania, William C. Koehler,
Idaho, E. V. Kidner Ronald Cominsky
Illinois, James G. Gehler Puerto Rico, Regis Deglans
Indiana, Robert L. Eskew Rhode Island, Steven Clarke
Iowa, Bernard C. Brown South Carolina, Richard L. Stewart
Kansas, Donald L. Jarboe South Dakota, Merle Buhler
Kentucky, R. A. Walsburger, John McChord Tennessee, Floyd Petty
Louisiana, Jarvis J. Poche Texas, Billy R. Neeley
Maine, Theodore H. Karasopoulos U.S. DOT, Richard E. Hay (FHWA),
Maryland, A. Haleem Tahir Richard J. Worch (FAA)
Massachusetts, Gino J. Bastanza Utah, Heber Vlam, William D. Hurley
Michigan, Paul Milliman, Ralph Vogler Vermont, John R. Phalen
Minnesota, Richard H. Sullivan Virginia, W. E. Winfrey
Mississippi, Walter S . Jordan Washington, A. J. Peters
Missouri, W. L. Trimm West Virginia, Donald C. Long,
Montana, Robert Rask Garland W. Steele
Nebraska, Eldon D. Orth, William Ramsey Wisconsin, George H. Zuehlke
Nevada, James Dodson Wyoming, Robert Warburton

AFFILIATE MEMBERS
Alberta, L. W. Nichols
Guam, Joseph S. Susuico
Korea, Jung Hoon, In-Gap Moon
Manitoba, F. Young
Mariana Islands, John C. Pangelinan
New Bxunswick, Gerard Keenan
Northwest Territories, P. Vician
Nova Scotia, F. Garvais
Ontario, Dave R. Brohm
Saskatchewan, Allan Widgur

ASSOCIATE MEMBERS
N.J. Turnpike Authority, Howard L. Byrnes
Mass. Metro. Dist. Comm., William F. Burke
Port Auth. of NY & N.J., Raymond Finnegan

Copyright American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials


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AASHTO T I T L E MSI 88 m Ob39804 O O L l b 1 7 9 9 6 m

CONTENTS

1.0 INTRODUCTION ...................................................................... 1


1.1 Purpose............................................................................ 1
1.2 Development of Manual ............................................................. 1
1.3 Summary .......................................................................... 1

2.0 SUBSURFACE DATA REQUIREMENTS ................................................ 3


2.1 General ........................................................................... 3
2.2 Data Requirements Common to Most Projects ......................................... 4
2.2.1 Definition of Stratum Boundaries .............................................. 4
2.2.2 Groundwater Level ........................................................... 4
2.2.3 Foundation Support ........................................................... 4
2.2.4 Settlement or Heave Potential ................................................. 5
2.2.5 Slope or Bottom Stability ..................................................... 5
2.2.6 Lateral Earth Pressure and Excavation Support .................................. 5
2.2.7 Dewatering .................................................................. 6
2.2.8 Use of Excavated Material .................................................... 7
2.3 Other Geotechnical Data Requirements ............................................... 7
2.3.1 Geologic Constraints ......................................................... 7
2.3.2 Seismic Evaluations .......................................................... 8
2.3.3 Corrosion or Decay Potential ................................................. 9
2.3.4 Frost Penetration and Freezing ................................................ 9
O 2.3.5 Soil Expansion or Swell ......................................................
2.3.6 Environmental Concerns .....................................................
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2.3.7 Erosion Protection ........................................................... 10
2.3.8 Permanent Groundwater Control .............................................. 10
2.3.9 Soil or Rock Modification .................................................... 10
2.3.10 Material Sources ............................................................ 12
2.3.11 Underpinning ............................................................... 12
2.3.12 Post-Construction Maintenance................................................ 12
2.4 Usual Data Requirements for Transportation ........................................... 12
2.4.1 Bridges and Viaducts ......................................................... 12
2.4.2 Retaining Structures .......................................................... 13
2.4.2.1 Conventional Retaining Walls .......................................... 13
2.4.2.2 Crib and Reinforced Earth Walls ....................................... 14
2.4.2.3 Diaphragm Walls ..................................................... 14
2.4.3 Cuts and Embankments ....................................................... 14
2.4.4 Roadway and Airfield Pavements. .............................................. 15
2.4.5 Railroad and Transit Tracks ................................................... 15
2.4.6 Tunnels and Underground Structures ...........................................
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,i 2.4.7 Poles. Masts and Towers ...................................................... 15
2.4.8 Culverts and Pipes ............................................................ 15
2.5 Maintenance Management ........................................................... 16
2.6 Rehabilitation Projects .............................................................. 16
2.7 Environmental Assessments .......................................................... 17
2.8 References .......................................................................... 18

3.0 CONDUCT OF INVESTIGATIONS ...................................................... 19


3.1 Transportation Project Planning ...................................................... 19
3.2 Alternate Route Selection ........................................................... 19

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Contents

3.3 Guidelines for Minimum Investigations ................................................ 20


3.4 Planning and Phasing ............................................................... 20
3.5 Conduct of Investigations ............................................................ 21
3.5.1 Literature Search (Review of Existing Information) .............................. 21
3.5.2 Study of Preliminary Plans.................................................... 21
3.5.3 Formulation of Tentative Field Exploration Plans ................................ 21
3.5.4 Field Reconnaissance ........................................................ 21
3.5.5 Field Geologic Mapping ...................................................... 22
3.5.6 Subsurface Explorations ...................................................... 22
3.5.7 Geophysical Surveys ......................................................... 22
3.5.8 Hydrogeological Surveys ..................................................... 22
3.5.9 Materials Surveys............................................................ 23

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3.5.10 Field Testing. ............................................................... 23
3.5.11 Laboratory Testing .......................................................... 23
3.5.12 Special Requirements ........................................................ 23
3.5.13 Photography ................................................................ 23
3.6 Reports and Drawings ............................................................... 24
3.7 Sources of Existing Data ............................................................ 24
3.7.1 USGS Quadrangle Maps ...................................................... 24
3.7.2 Bedrock and Surficial Maps ................................................... 25
3.7.3 Soil Survey Maps ............................................................. 25
3.7.3.1 Development of Soil Survey Maps in the U.S. ........................... 26
3.7.3.2 Soil Survey Mapping Philosophy ....................................... 26
3.7.3.3 Conversion of Soil Survey Classifications ................................ 27
3.7.3.4 Engineering Data from Soil Surveys .................................... 27
3.7.3.5 General Use of Soil Survey Data ....................................... 28
3.7.4 Other Sources of Information .................................................. 28
3.8 References ......................................................................... 28

4.0 FIELD MAPPING ...................................................................... 31


4.1 General ........................................................................... 31
4.2 Reconnaissance Mapping ............................................................ 31
4.2.1 Purpose ..................................................................... 31
4.2.2 Levels of Effort .............................................................. 31
4.2.3 Office Reconnaissance and Literature Search .................................... 31
4.2.4 Field Reconnaissance ......................................................... 32
4.2.5 Field Reconnaissance Report ................................................... 32
4.3 Engineering Geologic Mapping ....................................................... 32
4.3.1 Project Area Geologic Maps ................................................... 35
4.3.2 ROW Geologic Maps ......................................................... 35
4.3.3 Site Geologic Maps ........................................................... 35
4.3.4 Other Special Geologic Maps .................................................. 35
4.3.5 Integration with General Project Photointerpretation ............................. 36
4.3.6 Special Methods of Geologic Mapping .......................................... 36
4.3.6.1 Test Pits ............................................................. 36
4.3.6.2 Exploration Trenches ................................................. 36
4.3.6.3 Exploratory Shafts.................................................... 36
4.3.7 Rock Structure Mapping ...................................................... 37
4.3.8 Tunnel Silhouette Photography ................................................. 37
4.4 Materials Surveys ................................................................... 39
4.4.1 County Wide Material Surveys ................................................. 40
4.5 Remote Sensing .................................................................... 41
4.5.1 Types, Availability, Advantages and Limitations of Aerial Data .................... 41
4.5.1.1 Aerial Photography ................................................... 41
4.5.1.2 Satellite Imagery ..................................................... 42

iv
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AASHTO T I T L E M S I 8 Ob39804 OOLLbL9 7 6 9

Contents

4.5.1.3 Infrared Imagery ..................................................... 43


4.5.1.4 Radar Imagery ....................................................... 43
4.5.2 Uses of Aerial Data .......................................................... 43
4.5.3 Image Interpretation .......................................................... 44
4.5.3.1 Orientation .......................................................... 45
4.5.3.2 Initial Scan of Imagery ................................................ 45
4.5.3.3 Compilation of the First Interpretation .................................. 45
4.5.3.4 Assessment of the First Interpretation .................................. 45
4.5.3.5 Field Verification ..................................................... 45
4.5.3.6 Finalization of the Photogeologic Interpretation .......................... 46
4.6 Keferences ......................................................................... 46

5.0 GEOLOGIC CONSTRAINTS ............................................................ 49


5.1 Providing Design-Related Data ....................................................... 49
5.2 Detection of Geologic Constraints .................................................... 49
5.3 Subsidence ......................................................................... 51
5.3.1 Fluid Withdrawal Effect ....................................................... 52
5.3.2 Mining Induced Subsidence .................................................... 53
5.3.3 Sinkholes .................................................................... 54
5.3.4 Growth Faults................................................................ 55
5.4 SlopeMoveInents ................................................................... 55
5.4.1 Classification of Slope Movements .............................................. 55
5.4.2 Detection of Movement-Prone Areas ........................................... 56
5.4.3 Geometry of Moving Slope Masses ............................................. 58
5.4.4 Causes of Slope Movement .................................................... 58
5.4.5 Data Requirements for Analysis and Treatment .................................. 58
5.5 Unstable Soil and Rock ............................................................. 60
5.5.1 Expansive Soil and Rock ...................................................... 64
5.5.2 Collapse-Prone Soil ........................................................... 71
5.5.3 Shale and Clay Shale ......................................................... 71
5.5.4 Sensitive Clay Soils., ......................................................... 73
5.5.5 Frost Heave Susceptibility ..................................................... 74
5.6 Flooding ........................................................................... 74
5.7 Erosion ............................................................................ 74
5.8 Keferences ......................................................................... 77

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6.0 ENGINEERING GEOPHYSICS .......................................................... 83
6.1 Use of Data ........................................................................ 84
6.2 Scheduling ......................................................................... 84
6.3 Presentation of Results .............................................................. 86
6.3.1 Site Locus Map .............................................................. 86
6.3.2 Investigation Plan Map ........................................................ 86
6.3.3 Data Results ................................................................. 86
6.4 Major Methods ..................................................................... 87
6.5 Seismic Metliods .................................................................... 87
6.5.1 Seismic Refraction Method .................................................... 88
6.5.1.1 Field Methods ....................................................... 88
6.5.1.2 Characterization of Rock Type ......................................... 90
6.5.1.3 Limitations .......................................................... 91
6.5.2 Seismic Reflection Methods .................................................... 91
6.6 Electrical Resistivity Methods ........................................................ 92
6.7 Gravity Method .................................................................... 93
6.7.1 Field Methods ............................................................... 95
6.7.2 Interpretation of Gravity Data ................................................. 95
6.8 Magnetic Methods .................................................................. 95

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Contents

6.9 Borehole Logging. .................................................................. 96


6.9.1 Electrical Methods ............................................................ 96
6.9.1.1 Borehole Resistivity .................................................. 97
6.9.1.2 Single-Point Borehole Resistivity ....................................... 97
6.9.1.3 Spontaneous Potential................................................. 97
6.9.2 Nuclear Methods ............................................................. 98
6.9.3 Sonic Methods ............................................................... 99
6.9.4 Mechanical Methods .......................................................... 100
6.9.5 Thermometric Methods ....................................................... 100
6.9.6 General Field Methods ........................................................ 100
6.9.7 Interpretation of Borehole Logs ................................................ 101
6.10 Dynamic Property Measurements ..................................................... 101
6.10.1 Uphole Survey ............................................................... 101
6.10.2 Downhole Survey ............................................................. 102
6.10.3 Crosshole Survey ............................................................. 102
6.11 Subaudible Rock Noise. ............................................................. 103
6.12 Borehole TV Cameras. .............................................................. 103
6.13 References ......................................................................... 103

7.0 SUBSURFACE EXPLORATION (Soil and Rock Sampling) ................................. 109


7.1 General Planning ................................................................... 109
7.2 Management and Supervision ........................................................ 110
7.3 Contracts and Specifications.......................................................... 110
7.3.1 Invitation to Bid ............................................................. 110
7.3.2 Proposal ..................................................................... 111
7.3.3 Contract Agreement .......................................................... 111
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7.3.4 General Conditions ........................................................... 111


7.3.5 Technical Specifications ....................................................... 111
7.3.6 Contract Award and Implementation............................................ 111
7.4 Exploration Program ................................................................ 111
7.4.1 Exploration Plan ............................................................. 111
7.4.2 Types of Borings ............................................................. 112
7.4.2.1 PilotBorings ......................................................... 112
7.4.2.2 Control Borings ...................................................... 112
7.4.2.3 Verification Borings ................................................... 112
7.4.3 Exploration Spacing .......................................................... 112
7.4.3.1 Subgrade Borings..................................................... 113
7.4.3.2 High Embankment and Deep Cut Borings .............................. 113
7.4.3.3 Specific Structure Borings ............................................. 113
7.4.3.4 Critical-Area Explorations ............................................. 113
7.4.3.5 Tunnel Borings ....................................................... 113
7.4.4 Exploration Depths. .......................................................... 114
7.4.4.1 Subgrade Borings..................................................... 114
7.4.4.2 High Embankment and Deep Cut Borings .............................. 114
7.4.4.3 Specific Structure Borings ............................................. 114
7.4.4.4 Critical-Area Explorations ............................................. 114
7.4.4.5 Tunnel Borings ....................................................... 114
7.4.5 Sampling Requirements ....................................................... 115
7.4.6 Right-of-Entry. Permits. and Utilities ........................................... 115
7.4.7 Borehole Location Tolerance ................................................... 115
7.4.8 Survey of Locations., ......................................................... 115
7.4.9 Drilling Equipment.. ......................................................... 116
7.4.10 Special Equipment ........................................................... 116
7.5 Exploration Methods. ............................................................... 116
7.5.1 Borehole Advancement ....................................................... 116
7.5.1.1 Displacement Borings ................................................. 116
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Contents

7.5.1.2 Wash Borings ........................................................ 117


7.5.1.3 Percussion Drilling .................................................... 117
7.5.1.4 Rotary Drilling ....................................................... 118
7.5.1.5 Auger Borings ....................................................... 119
7.5.1.6 Continuous Sampling ................................................. 120
7.5.2 Borehole Stabilization ......................................................... 121
7.5.2.1 Water Stabilization ................................................... 121
7.5.2.2 Mud Stabilization..................................................... 121
7.5.2.3 Air Stabilization ...................................................... 123
7.5.2.4 Casing Stabilization ................................................... 124
7.5.2.5 Grout Stabilization ................................................... 125
7.5.2.6 Freezing Stabilization ................................................. 125
7.5.3 Special Exploration Techniques ................................................ 126
7.5.3.1 Exploratory Probes ................................................... 126
7.5.3.2 Hand Explorations .................................................... 126
7.5.3.3 Test Pits ............................................................. 127
7.5.3.4 ODEX Drilling System ............................................. 127
7.5.3.5 Horizontal Drilling System ............................................ 129
7.5.3.6 Underwater Drilling Equipment. ....................................... 131
7.6 Overburden (Soil) Sampling ......................................................... 131
7.6.1 Wash Sampling ............................................................ 132
7.6.2 Split-Barrel or Split-Spoon Open Drive Sampling ................................ 132
7.6.3 Thin-Wall Tube Sampling...................................................... 135
7.6.3.1 Thin-Wall Open-Drive Sampler ........................................ 135
7.6.3.2 Mechanical Stationary Piston Sampler ................................... 136
7.6.3.3 Floating Piston Sampler ............................................... 136
7.6.3.4 Retractable Piston Sampler ............................................ 137
7.6.3.5 Hydraulic/Pneumatic Piston Sampler .................................... 137-
7.6.3.6 Bishop Sand Sampler ................................................. 138
7.6.3.7 Swedish Foil Sampler ................................................. 139
7.6.4 Rotary Core Barrel Sampling .................................................. 139
7.6.4.1 Denison Sampler ..................................................... 140
7.6.4.2 Pitcher Sampler ...................................................... 141
7.6.4.3 Triple Tube Conversion Core Barrel Sampler ............................ 141
7.6.5 Block Sampling .............................................................. 142
7.7 Rock Core Sampling ................................................................ 142
7.7.1 Rotary Core Barrel Types ..................................................... 143
7.7.1.1 NWD4 Double Tube Core Barrel ...................................... 144
7.7.1.2 NWM3 Triple Tube Core Barrel ......................................... 145
7.7.2 Specialty Core Barrel Types ................................................... 145
7.7.2.1 Wireline Core Barrel ................................................. 145
7.7.2.2 Calyx or Shot Core Barrel ............................................. 146
7.7.2.3 Steel Tooth Cutter Barrel ............................................. 146
7.7.2.4 Percussion Core Barrel ................................................ 147
7.7.3 Integral Sampling Method (ISM) ............................................... 147
7.7.3.1 The LNEC Integral Sampling Method ................................... 148
7.7.3.2 The CISR Integral Sampling Method ................................... 149
7.7.3.3 ISM Application Considerations ........................................ 149
7.7.4 Rock Structure Orientation Methods ............................................ 150
7.7.4.1 Physical Core Alignment Methods ...................................... 151
7.7.4.2 Orienting Core Barrels ................................................ 151
7.8 Exploration Difficulties .............................................................. 152
7.8.1 Sample Recovery ............................................................. 152
7.8.2 Sample Disturbance .......................................................... 152
7.8.3 Obstructions ................................................................. 153
7.8.4 Specific Geologic Problem Conditions ........................................... 153
Vii
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Contents

7.8.5 Groundwater Conditions ...................................................... 154


7.8.6 Borehole Sealing ............................................................. 154
7.9 Sample Preservation and Shipment.................................................... 154
7.9.1 Jar Samples .................................................................. 154
7.9.2 Thin-Wall Tubes.............................................................. 155
7.9.2.1 Cohesive Samples .................................................... 155
7.9.2.2 Granular Samples .................................................... 155
7.9.3 Rock Core ................................................................... 156
7.9.3.1 Selection of Rock Core Test Specimens ................................. 157
7.9.4 Bulk Samples ................................................................ 157
7.9.5 Environmental Test Samples ................................................... 158
7.9.6 Non-Containerized Samples.................................................... 158
7.10 Photographic Record ................................................................ 158
7.11 Supervision and Inspection of Subsurface Explorations .................................. 159
7.11.1 Duties and Responsibilities of Logging Personnel. ................................ 159
7.11.2 Logging ..................................................................... 160
7.11.2.1 Equipment and Supplies .............................................. 160
7.11.2.2 Format and Field Boring Log .......................................... 161
7.11.2.3 Field Boring Log Data ................................................ 161
7.12 Improper Drilling Techniques ........................................................ 161
7.13 References., ....................................................................... 162

8.0 HYDROGEOLOGY .................................................................... 175


8.1 Terminology........................................................................ 175
8.1.1 Aquifer ..................................................................... 175
8.1.2 Artesian ..................................................................... 175
8.1.3 Groundwater ................................................................ 175
8.1.4 Hydraulic Conductivity. ....................................................... 176
8.1.5 Permeability ................................................................. 176
8.1.6 Porosity ..................................................................... 176
8.1.7 Potentiometric Surface ........................................................ 177
8.1.8 Storage Coefficient ........................................................... 177

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8.1.9 Transmissivity., .............................................................. 177
8.1.10 Unconfined .................................................................. 177
8.1.11 Water Table ................................................................. 177
8.2 Use of Hydrogeologic Material ....................................................... 177
8.2.1 Environmental Effects of Construction .......................................... 180
8.3 Data Acquisition ................................................................... 180
8.3.1 Observation Wells ............................................................ 181
8.3.2 Piezometers.. ................................................................ 182
8.4 Data Analysis ...................................................................... 183
8.4.1 Potentiometric Surface ........................................................ 183
8.4.2 Flow Nets ................................................................... 183
8.5 Scheduling ......................................................................... 184
8.6 Presentation. ........................................................................ 184
8.7 References ......................................................................... 185

9.0 LABORATORY TESTING OF SOIL AND ROCK ......................................... 187


9.1 Requirements of the Laboratory ...................................................... 187
9.1.1 Equipment .................................................................. 187
9.1.2 Personnel .................................................................... 187
9.1.3 Quality Assurance Control .................................................... 188
9.2 Planning Project-Related Test Programs ............................................... 188
9.3 Sample Handling ................................................................... 188
9.3.1 Storage and Preparation ....................................................... 188

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9.3.2 Disturbance.................................................................. 189


9.3.2.1 Changes in Stress Conditions ..........................................
O 9.3.2.2 Changes in Water Content and Void Ratio ..............................
189
189
9.3.2.3 Disturbance of the Soil Structure. ...................................... 189
9.3.2.4 Chemical Changes .................................................... 189
9.3.2.5 Mixing and Segregation of Soil Constituents ............................. 190
9.3.3 Undisturbed Soil Samples ..................................................... 190
9.4 Laboratory Aspects of Soil Classification .............................................. 190
9.4.1 Grain Size Analysis ........................................................... 190
9.4.2 Liquid and Plastic Limits ...................................................... 191
9.4.2.1 Correlation with Various Properties ..................................... 191
9.4.2.2 Other Controls Over Atterberg Limits .................................. 191
9.4.3 Specific Gravity .............................................................. 191
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9.5 Shear Strength ..................................................................... 192


9.5.1 Loading Devices ............................................................. 192
9.5.2 Direct Shear ................................................................. 192
9.5.3 Unconfined Compression Test ................................................. 193
9.5.4 Triaxial Compression Test ..................................................... 193
9.5.4.1 Unconsolidated Undrained Test ........................................ 194
9.5.4.2 Consolidated Undrained Test .......................................... 194
9.5.4.3 Consolidated Drained Tests ............................................ 195
9.5.5 Laboratory Vane Shear ....................................................... 195
9.6 Consolidation ...................................................................... 195
9.6.1 Consolidation Tests ........................................................... 196
9.6.2 Presentation of Consolidation Test Data ......................................... 196
9.7 Permeability ....................................................................... 197
9.7.1 Constant Head Test ............................................................ 197
O 9.7.2 Falling Head Test. ............................................................
9.8 Swelling and Collapse Potential .......................................................
197
198
9.8.1 Soil Suction (Thermocouple Psychrometer) Test. ................................. 198
9.8.2 Oedometer Swell Test ......................................................... 198
9.9 Compaction Test .................................................................... 200
9.10 Laboratory Bearing-Ratio Test ....................................................... 200
9.11 Dynamic Properties ................................................................. 201
9.11.1 Elastic Soil Properties ......................................................... 201
9.11.2 Damping Ratio ............................................................... 202
9.11.3 Shear Strength and Pore Pressure Response ..................................... 203
9.11.4 Resonant Column Test ........................................................ 203
9.11.5 Cyclic Triaxial Test ........................................................... 204
9.11.6 Other Dynamic Tests ......................................................... 204
9.11.6.1 Pulse Tests........................................................... 204
9.11.6.2 Cyclic Simple Shear Tests ............................................. 204
9.11.6.3 Cyclic Torsional Shear Tests ........................................... 204
9.11.7 Summary .................................................................... 205
9.12 Laboratory Tests of Rock ............................................................ 205
9.13 Use of Standards ................................................................... 206
9.14 Record Keeping .................................................................... 206
9.15 Presentation of Data ................................................................ 206
9.16 References ......................................................................... 207

10.0 COMPILATION AND PRESENTATION OF GEOTECHNICAL INFORMATION ............ 209


10.1 Types of Information ................................................................ 209
10.1.1 Factual Information or Data ................................................... 209
10.1.2 Interpretive Data ............................................................. 209
10.2 Uses of Information ................................................................. 209

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Conteiits

10.3 Presentation of Factual Information or Data. ........................................... 210


10.3.1 Pre-existing Data ............................................................. 210
10.3.2 Remote Sensing .............................................................. 211
10.3.3 Geophysical ................................................................. 211
10.3.4 Subsurface Explorations ....................................................... 211
10.3.5 Field Testing. ................................................................ 211
10.3.6 Laboratory Testing ........................................................... 211
10.3.7 Construction-Phase Testing and Monitoring ...................................... 211
10.4 Presentation of Interpretative Information ............................................. 212
10.4.1 Design or Analytical Considerations ............................................ 212
10.4.2 Geologic Interpretation ....................................................... 212
10.4.3 Design Evaluation and Recommendations ....................................... 212
10.4.3.1 Structures ........................................................... 213
10.4.3.2 Cuts and Fills ........................................................ 213
10.4.3.3 Pavements or Roadbeds ............................................... 214
10.4.3.4 Tunnels or Underground Structures..................................... 214
10.4.3.5 Construction Considerations ........................................... 214
10.4.3.6 Instrumentation ...................................................... 214
10.5 Geotechnical Report Presentation. .................................................... 214
10.5.1 ContractuaVLegal Implications ................................................. 215
10.5.2 Informal Planning and Design Submittals........................................ 215
10.5.3 Data Reports ................................................................ 216
10.5.4 Interpretive Reports .......................................................... 216
10.5.5 Contractor Investigations and Briefings.......................................... 217
10.6 References ......................................................................... 217

APPENDIX A Drilling. Sampling and Installation Procedures ................................... 219


Field Report Forms ........................................................................... 219
Daily Report-Test Borings ................................................................. 219
Test Boring Report ......................................................................... 219
Core Boring Report ........................................................................ 219
Groundwater Observation Well Report ....................................................... 219
Piezometer Installation Report ............................................................... 219
Test Probe Report .......................................................................... 219
Test Probe Summary ....................................................................... 219
Test Pit Report ............................................................................ 219
Field Production Summary Report ........................................................... 219

General Field Procedures ..................................................................... 219


Rock Coring ............................................................................... 219
Observation Wells .......................................................................... 232
Piezometers ............................................................................... 232
Piezometers Installed In Completed Boreholes (Permanent Casing Left In Place) .................. 236
Piezometers Installed In Completed Boreholes (Casing Removed) ................................ 237
Piezometers Installed By Insertion Into Cohesive Soil ......................................... 240
Exporatory Probes ......................................................................... 240
Hand Probes .............................................................................. 240
Air Percussion Probes ...................................................................... 240
Acoustic Probes ............................................................................ 241
Exploratory Test Pit ........................................................................ 241
Thin-Walled Open Drive Sample ............................................................. 243
Mechanical Stationary Piston Sampling ....................................................... 243
Hydraulic Piston Sampling .................................................................. 244
Denison Sampling .......................................................................... 245
Pitcher Sampling ........................................................................... 246

X --`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

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APPENDIX B In Situ Borehole Testing ....................................................... 247


B.l General ................................................................................ 247
B.2 Scheduling ............................................................................. 247
3.3 Types of Tests .......................................................................... 248
.4 Correlation Tests ........................................................................ 248
B.4.1 Standard Penetration Test ......................................................... 248
B .4.2 Dynamic Penetration Tests ........................................................ 248
3.5 Strength and Deformation Tests .......................................................... 249
3.5.1 Penetrometers ................................................................... 249
B.5.1.1 Cone Penetrometer Test .................................................. 249
B.5.1.2 Piezocone Penetrometer Test .............................................. 251
B .5.2 Pressuremeters ................................................................... 253
B -5.2.1 Menard Pressuremeter.................................................... 253
B 5 2 . 2 Self-Boring Pressuremeter ................................................ 255
B.5.3 Stress or Shear Devices ........................................................... 257
B.5.3.1 Hydraulic Fracturing (Hydrofracturhg) ..................................... 257
B.5.3.2 Vane Shear Test ......................................................... 258
B.5.3.3 Borehole Shear Test ..................................................... 259
B.6 Permeability Tests ....................................................................... 264
B -6.1 Water Pressure Tests ............................................................. 264
B.6.2 Pump Test ....................................................................... 264
B.G.3 Hydraulic Conductivity Tests ...................................................... 268
B.6.4 Percolation Tests ................................................................. 269
B.7 References ............................................................................. 269

APPENDIX C In Situ Testing Procedures ..................................................... 273


Standard Penetration Test (SPT) ............................................................. 273
Rock Quality Designation (RQD) ............................................................ 274
Dynamic Penetrometer Tests ................................................................ 278
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Static Cone Penetrometer Tests .............................................................. 278


Pressuremeter Test (Menard Type) ........................................................... 279
Borehole Shear Test (Iowa Type) ............................................................ 282
Water Pressure Test ........................................................................ 285

APPENDIX D Laboratory Testing Procedures-Soils and Rock .................................. 291


Sampling Handling ......................................................................... 291
Unified Soil Classification System ............................................................ 291
Moisture Content .......................................................................... 291
Grain Size Analysis ........................................................................ 292
Atterberg Limits ........................................................................... 292
Specific Gravity ............................................................................ 292
Direct Shear ............................................................................... 292
Unconfined Compression Test ............................................................... 292
Triaxial Compression Test ................................................................... 292
Consolidation Test ......................................................................... 292
Constant Head Permeability Test ............................................................ 292
Falling Head Permeability Test .............................................................. 292
Soil Suction Test ........................................................................... 292
Moisture and In-Place Density ............................................................... 292
Compaction ............................................................................... 293
Dynamic Properties ........................................................................293
O Rock Tests ................................................................................ 293
D.l References ........................................................................... 293

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Contents

APPENDIX E Materials Classification ........................................................ 295


E.l AASHTO Classification .................................................................. 295
E.l.l Classification .................................................................... 295
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E . l . l . l Soil Fraction Definitions .................................................. 297


E.1.1.2 Classification Procedure .................................................. 299
E.1.1.3 Group Index Determination ............................................... 299
E.1.1.4 Examples of Group Index Calculation ...................................... 299
E.1.2 Description of Classified Groups ................................................... 299
E .1.2.1 Granular Materials ....................................................... 299
E.1.2.2 Silt-Clay Materials ....................................................... 302
E.2 Unified Soil Classification System ......................................................... 302
E.2.1 Coarse-Grained Soils ............................................................. 302
E.2.1.1 Less than five percent minus 200 sieve ..................................... 304
E.2.1.2 More than 12 percent minus 200 sieve ...................................... 304
E.2.1.3 Borderline. ............................................................. 304
E.2.2 Fine-Grained Soils ............................................................... 304
E.2.3 Organic Soils .................................................................... 305
E.3 Field Identification ...................................................................... 305
E.3.1 Coarse-Grained Soils ............................................................. 305
E.3.2 Fine-Grained Soils ............................................................... 305
E.3.3 Highly Organic Soils., ............................................................ 307
E.3.4 Borderline Classification .......................................................... 307
E.4 Manual Test for Field Identification of Fine-Grained Soils or Fractions ........................ 307
E.4.1 Dilatancy........................................................................ 307
E.4.2 Dry Strength .................................................................... 307
E.4.3 Toughness ....................................................................... 307
E S Descriptive Terminology ................................................................. 308
E.5.1 Density and Consistency .......................................................... 308
E.5.2 Soil Color ....................................................................... 308
E.5.3 Primary and Secondary Soil Constituents............................................ 308
E.5.4 USCS Symbols................................................................... 309
E.5.5 Other Pertinent Properties ........................................................ 309
E.6 Classification of Rock ................................................................... 309
E.6.1 Visual-Manual Description ........................................................ 310
E.6.2 Classification of In Situ Rock ...................................................... 312
E.6.2.1 Geologic Discontinuities .................................................. 312
E.6.2.2 Rock Quality Designation ................................................ 313
E.6.2.3 Weathering Profile ....................................................... 313
E.6.2.4 Miscellaneous Features ................................................... 313
E.6.2.5 Sample Rock Descriptions ................................................ 314
E.6.3 Field Testing., ................................................................... 314
E.7 References ............................................................................. 314

APPENDIX F Rock Excavation Programs ..................................................... 317


F.l The Nature of Rock Excavation .......................................................... 317
F.2 Goals of Rock Excavation Programs. ..................................................... 318
F.3 Types of Rock Excavation. .............................................................. 319
F.4 Choice of Excavation Method ............................................................ 319
F.5 Rippability of Rock .................................................................... 319
F.6 Blasting as an Excavation Method. ....................................................... 323
F.6.1 Explosives. ..................................................................... 324
F.6.2 Mechanism of Explosive Rock Fragmentation ....................................... 325
F.6.3 Basic Surface Blasting Technique .................................................. 325
F.6.4 Effects of Discontinuities ......................................................... 329
F.6.5 Other Important Geologic Features ................................................ 330

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F.6.6 Damage Prediction and Control of Blasting Operations............................... 331


F.6.7 Blasting Specifications............................................................ 333
F.7 Pre-Bid Excavation Tests ................................................................ 333
F.8 Estimation of Bulking .................................................................. 334
F.9 Geotechnical Data for Tunnel Boring Machines ............................................ 336
F.10 Environmental Aspects ................................................................. 337
F.ll References ............................................................................ 338

APPENDIX G Instrumentation .............................................................. 341


G.l Nature of Instrumentation .............................................................. 341
G.2 Purposes of Instrumentation............................................................. 342
(3.3 Planning for Instrumentation ............................................................ 342
6 . 4 Standards ............................................................................. 344
G.5 Instrtimentation Systems ................................................................ 345
G.5.1 LoadlStress of Structural Members ................................................ 345
G.5.2 Earth Pressure ................................................................. 347
G.5.3 Vertical Deformation ............................................................ 348
G.5.3.1 Settlement Indicators ................................................... 348
(3.5.4 Pore/Cleft Water Pressure........................................................ 352
G.5.5 Lateral Deformation Indicators ...................................................
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362
G.5.5.1 Extensometers ......................................................... 364
G.5.6 Tilt Indicators .................................................................. 365
(3.6 Positional Surveys as Instrumentation Techniques .......................................... 367
(3.7 Survey Control for Instrumentation ...................................................... 370
G.8 Accuracy as a Consideration in Instrumentation ........................................... 371
G.9 Instrumentation for Hazard Warnings .................................................... 371
O G.10 Contracts and Specifications.............................................................
G . l l References., ..........................................................................
372
372

APPENDIX H Subsurface Investigations for Earthquake-Resistant Design ........................ 377


1-1.1 Earthquake Damage to Transportation Systems ............................................ 377
H.l.l Ground Rupture ................................................................. 377
H .1.2 Ground Shaking ................................................................. 377
H.1.2.1 Liquefaction ............................................................ 377
H .1.2.2 Slope Instability ........................................................ 378
H.1.2.3 Settlement ............................................................. 378
H.1.2.4 Soil-Structure Interaction ................................................ 378
H .1.2.5 Effect of Local Soil Conditions on Earthquake Motions ...................... 379
H.1.3 Summary ....................................................................... 379
H.2 Subsurface Investigation for Seismic Conditions............................................. 379
H.2.1 Faulting ........................................................................ 379
H.2.2 Liquefaction..................................................................... 379
H.2.2.1 Saturation .............................................................. 380
H.2.2.2 Overburden Pressure .................................................... 380
H.2.2.3 Grain Size and Gradation ................................................ 381
H.2.2.4 Relative Density-Cohesionless Soils ...................................... 381
H.2.2.5 Liquefaction of Silts and Clays ............................................ 381
H.2.2.6 Laboratory Testing for Liquefaction Susceptibility. .......................... 381
H.2.3 Slope Stability under Seismic Conditions............................................ 382
H.2.4 Seismically Induced Settlement .................................................... 382
H.2.5 Dynamic Earth Pressures on Walls and Other Below Grade Facilities .................. 383
1.2.6 Effect of Local Soil Conditions on Earthquake Motions .............................. 383
3.3 References ............................................................................. 383

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Contents

APPENDIX I Geotechnical Contributions to Environmental Reports ............................. 385


1.1 Intent of Environmental Impact Analysis ...................................................
1.2 Generalized Procedure of Environmental Impact Assessment .................................
385
386
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1.2.1 Planning and Early Coordination .................................................... 386
1.2.2 Scoping the Level of Assessment .................................................... 386
1.2.3 Initiation of the Environmental Assessment. .......................................... 386
1.2.4 Compilation of the Environmental Impact Report ..................................... 388
1.2.5 Format of the Environmental Impact ReportlStatement ................................ 388
1.2.6 Comments and Interaction. .........................................................

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388
1.2.7 Final Environmental Impact Statement, .............................................. 389
1.3 Conduct of Studies.. ..................................................................... 389
1.4 Impact of Abutters ...................................................................... 391
1.5 Presentation.. ........................................................................... 391
1.6 References, ............................................................................. 391

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AASHTO T I T L E H S I 8 8 0 6 3 9 8 0 4 0011629 608

PREFACE

The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) through its Standing Commit-
tee on Highways and its Subcommittees on Materials, and Bridges and Structures have recognized the need for a
comprehensive manual that documents and explains the increasingly complex and diverse techniques for
conducting subsurface investigations for transportation facilities. Although the AASHTO Subcommittee on
Bridges and Structures has previously developed the ?Manual on Foundation Investigations,? that manual is
specifically focused on the acquisition and use of subsurfaceinvestigationinformation in the design of foundations
for bridges and other structures. The subject matter of this publication, ?Manual on Subsurface Investigations? is
very broad and covers in great detail the many aspects of conducting subsurface investigationsfor transportation
facilities.However, it should be noted that subsurface conditionsare often highly varied and complex. Neither this
Manual or any manual can cover every condition likely to be encountered when conducting a subsurface
investigation. Consequently although the Manual is comprehensive and detailed, it is but a guide to be
supplemented and continually improved by exercising engineering judgment and experience.
The ?Manual on SubsurfaceInvestigations?was initiated by AASHTO and accomplished through the National
Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) which is funded through AASHTO?sMember Departments.
The preparation and editing of the Manual was administered by the Transportation Research Board following
NCHRP procedures established by AASHTO.

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1.0 INTRODUCTION
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There is always a need for subsurface information and tions on the type of proposed facility must be evalu-
geotechnical data during the planning and develop- ated for each project.
ment stages of construction projects. An understand- The viewpoint taken in this manual is that the selec-
ing of the site geology is necessary for any project that tion of individuals to direct the investigation, inter-
has major components supported on or in the earth pret the information and present the conclusions in a
and underlying rock. The geotechnical features that concise and usable form to those responsible for de-
will affect design and construction of the transporta- sign and construction is of primary importance in any
tion facility must be investigated and evaluated. subsurface exploration program.
An area mentioned only briefly, but which will
probably become more significant, is the importance
1.1 PURPOSE of subsurface investigation and geotechnical partici-
pation in maintenance and rehabilitation projects.
The purpose of this manual is to describe the various Subsurface exploration should not only be seen as
procedures for subsurface investigation applicable to important in the planning and designing of new proj-
the transportation field. An outline of a sequence of ects, but in the maintenance and rehabilitation of
operations for conducting an investigation is pre- existing transportation facilities as well.
sented. Data obtained at each operational step should
be interpreted and the findings applied to optimize
each successive work step. These geotechnical data 1.2 DEVELOPMENT OF THE
should be considered as influential or even critical in MANUAL
all planning, design and construction stages of the
project. This manual was developed as a result of research
The manual discusses the increasing demand for initiated by AASHTO and performed under the
detailed geotechnical information which has initiated NCHRP project 24-1, Manual on Subsurface Inves-
extensive and costly subsurface explorations. The tigations.
level of investigation appropriate to a particular proj- Previously, a discussion of subsurface investigation
ect must be given careful consideration. Though the was included in the Manual on Foundation Investi-
additional information will generally decrease possi- gations, developed by the AASHTO Highway Sub-
ble unknowns and construction risks, a balance must committee on Bridges and Structures. Acquisition
be maintained between the costs of the exploration and use of subsurface investigation data in the design
program and the level of information which will be of foundations for bridges and other structures were
produced. the focus of that report.
Throughout the manual, mention is often made of This is the first manual devoted exclusively to a
the fact that no standard approach for subsurface discussion of subsurface explorations for all purposes
investigation has been adopted. Widely diverse geo- and reflects the growing importance of this topic.
logic environments, local equipment, personal pref-
erences and time and budget constraints have all con-
tributed to the development of different approaches. 1.3 SUMMARY
It has been found that subsurface exploration pro-
@ cedures cannot be reduced to a few guidelines that fit A summary of the individual sections follows:
all conditions. The effects of specific geologic condi- Section 2.0 Discusses data requirements; (1)

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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

for most projects, (2) related to Section 10.0 Outlines the formal presentation
other geotechnical project con- and use of geotechnical informa-
cerns and (3) for major compo- tion consisting of both factual and
nents of transportation-related interpreted data.
projects. Appendix A Summarizes the various drilling
Section 3.0 Lists a general sequence for con- sampling and instrumentation in-
ducting subsurface explorations stailations procedures required to
and sources of existing data one obtain the necessary subsurface
may draw upon in the process of information.

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these investigations. Appendix B Describes in situ borehole tests
Section 4.0 Discusses field subsurface map- which determine various proper-
ping and the field reconnaissance ties of soil or rock formations.
report. The advantages, costs, limita-
Section 5.0 Covers geologic constraints and tions, and types of borehole test-
how subsurface investigations ing are discussed.
should identify potential geologic Appendix C A selected summary of field test-
impacts early in the field recon- ing procedures required to deter-
naissance and define their key as- mine various soil and rock
pects so the proper engineering properties and the forms used to
response can be provided. record the data.
Section 6.0 Outlines the geophysical tech- Appendix D A summary of the test pro-
niques that apply to geotechnical cedures discussed in Section 9.0.
investigations. Appendix E Outlines soil and rock classifica-
Section 7.0 Outlines various planning and tion. Discusses the various classi-
contractural procedures and de- fication systems, and in particular
scribes drilling equipment, sam- the Unified Soil Classification
pling, and logging methods. System (USCS). Suggests pro-
Section 8.0 Discusses the relationship be- cedures and guidelines for pre-
tween transportation structures paring a complete description of
and subsurface water and pre- a soil sample.
sents some methods whereby hy- Appendix F Discusses rock excavation
drologic information can be methods.
acquired, analyzed, and put to Appendix G Describes instrumentation of en-
use to prevent, alleviate, or cor- gineering structures as a way of
rect undesirable conflicts between detecting present or potential
transportation structures and sub- structural damage before the
surface water. magnitude of deformation be-
Section 9.0 Discusses the purpose and classi- comes uncorrectable.
fication of laboratory testing of Appendix H Describes the effects of earth-
soil and rock, requirements of quakes on transportation systems
the laboratory personnel, quality and discusses subsurface investi-
assurance, the primary tests and gation as an aid in earthquake re-
their approximate cost, sample sistant design.
handling, laboratory aspects of Appendix I Discusses the contribution of sub-
soild classification, shear strength surface investigation to environ-
determination, consolidation tests mental impact analysis.
and permeability tests.

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2.0 SUBSURFACE DATA REQUIREMENTS.


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2.1 GENERAL
needs of civil and structural design, but must also
Subsurface explorations for a transportation-related provide information pertinent to other related consid-
project typically have the objectives of providing: (1) erations, such as corrosion and environmental protec-
general information on subsurface soil, rock and wa- tion. The design-phase data must have sufficient accu-
ter conditions on the site or route, and (2) specific racy, coverage and applicability to support design
information on the subsurface conditions or soil or analyses and decisions. It should also permit reasona-
rock properties that are important to the various bly accurate estimates of material quantities and con-
stages of project planning. An understanding of basic struction costs.
site geology is necessary throughout the planning pro- In many cases relating to roadways, standard prac-
cess for any project that has major components sup- tice for the agency will apply unless unforeseen condi-
ported on, or in the earth and underlying rock. In tions arise that require special attention. For many
many cases, general geologic information, and in states, this means logged borings at 100-175 m-spac-
some cases specific information on subsurface condi- ing, with variations providing concentrated data at cut
0 tions in the project area, will be available from techni-
cal references and reports, and previous subsurface
sections, borrow areas, or where geologically-related
problems are expected. Structure foundations com-
explorations on and near the site or route. monly have individually-planned explorations.
Whatever the extent of available information on a When a project is under construction there is not
particular project or site, there may become a need at normally further subsurface investigation, except to
some stage in the planning process for additional resolve questions or problems that have arisen during
subsurface investigation. This investigation will usu- construction. Design-phase explorations would have
ally have to be accomplished within budgetary and provided adequate subsurface information for design
time constraints that will limit the level of effort that and, in most cases, for contractor bidding for con-
can be applied. It is therefore important that subsur- struction. However, in some instances there may be a
face investigations be carefully planned, and coordi- need for limited or local explorations to confirm de-
nated between those who will obtain and those who sign evaluations, particularly when there have been
will use the information. design changes subsequent to the main exploration
The geotechnical data that are necessary for plan- program. There may also be a need for explorations
ning a particular type of project will vary from project and geotechnical data in connection with construc-
to project. In the early stages, it may be sufficient to tion-phase instrumentation and monitoring.
obtain only preliminary geotechnical information for As previously noted, the geotechnical data that are
alternative sites or routes to enable planners to evalu- required for a project can be broadly categorized as
ate project feasibility and identm major constraints general or specific. The first category encompasses
and premium costs. However, these early data must identification and delineation of various soil and rock
be extensive enough and have sufficient accuracy to strata and ground water levels. The second category
be appropriate for these objectives, so that correct will provide both qualitative and quantitative infor-
planning decisions can be made before intensive de- mation on the character and engineering properties of
sign effort is initiated. all or part of one or more of the various strata. Data
During project design, subsurface exploration and for the first category will normally be derived from
testing programs will be required to provide geo- one or more of the various methods of subsurface
technical data specificto the needs of the design team. explorations, while data for the second category will
The explorations and testing will serve the obvious quite often require field or laboratory testing.

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Manilal on Silbsiirface Investigations

It is not possible to establish strict criteria for the readings, usually with corresponding improvement of
data that should be obtained for a particular type of data precision and reliability.
project. However, the typical or usual geotechnical It should be noted that a low permeability stratum
considerations are: (1)data requirements common to can cause either an overlying perched water table
most projects, (2) data requirements related to other or an underlying artesian condition. In this situation
geotechnical project concerns, and (3) usual data re- there may be a need to seal a piezometer or observa-
quirements for major components of transportation- tion well within each stratum of interest in order to
related projects. It must be emphasized that the de- yield a complete picture of groundwater behavior at
termination of data requirements is part of the plan- the site.
ning process, and requires individual and continued
attention on each project. 2.2.3 Foundation Support

The planning and design of structures requires a de-


termination of the strength of proposed foundation
2.2 DATA REQUIREMENTS COMMON material. For light to moderate design loads and rela-
TO MOST PROJECTS tively competent bearing materials, such as rock,
dense granular soil or stiff clay, data derived under
2.2.1 Definition of Stratum Boundaries the preceding two items may be sufficient to establish
presumptive allowable bearing pressures for shallow
This requires identification and determination of ver- foundations. Where there are clearly unsuitable near-
tical and horizontal locations of the various subsur- surface soils, such as peat, the same data may also be
face materials on a site or route. The data can range sufficient for the design of deep foundations, such as
from visual observations or remote sensing output to piles. For most projects stratum definition and
detailed logs and physical samples of soil and rock groundwater data wiil at least be adequate for early
from test borings or test pits. Relatively limited data project planning. The peformance or problems of
are typically obtained for large areas during early existing foundations in the area should certainly be
project stages, while later stages will require increas- considered, and there must also be a determination
ingly detailed information, often for progressively that underlying geologic features, such as solution
smaller areas as project alternatives are narrowed cavities, or weak, collapsing or compressible soils do
down or final structure locations selected. Each addi- not control the bearing capacity.
tion of data should improve stratum boundary defini- In the case of shallow foundations, shear strength
tion. The type of exploration that is selected for each data for theoretical calculation of granular soil bear-
stage should be appropriate for the data require- ing capacity will usually be empirically derived from
ments. Standard Penetration Test blow-count determinations
In some cases field or laboratory testing may be and laboratory gradation analyses. The shear
necessary to define boundaries that are not otherwise strength of cohesive soils can be determined by field
evident. As an example, Standard Penetration Test vane tests or laboratory shear tests on undisturbed
AASHTO (T-206) blow counts may acceptably differ- samples. Where there are major foundation loads, or
entiate between dense or stiff and loose or soft strata, where further refinement of strength or bearing prop-
but natural water content determinations, shear erties is necessary there can be more sophisticated
strength testing or laboratory consolidation tests may field tests or laboratory triaxial testing of undisturbed
be necessary to define limits of sensitive or overcon- samples of granular or cohesive soil.
solidated clay. In the case of deep foundations the need for addi-
tional data depends on the types of foundations being
2.2.2 Groundwater Level considered. For bearing piles there is a need to predict
penetration into various strata. This is usually esti-
This is not a static condition, being a function of mated on the basis of soil classification and density, or
season and precipitation. In addition, the water level rock type and quality, as determined by test borings.
in a test boring can be affected by the introduction of Friction piles, unless designed on the basis of pre-
water for the drilling process. The ground-water level sumptive code values, require data or assumptions as
should be determined by readings over an extended to soil friction and adhesion characteristics, and cais-
period and by correlation with weather data. Water sons similarly require shear strength information.
level data can range from observations in test borings Such strength data for deep foundations can be devel-
or test pits to periodic observation well or piezometer oped by design-phase explorations and testing, but

4
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Subsurface Data Requirements

e are normally substantiated by full-scale load tests of failure of an entire embankment or the heave of an
pile units and penetrometer tests of caisson bearing excavation bottom. Early stages of planning can uti-
surfaces during construction. lize general geologic and groundwater information,
supplemented by the physical evidence of existing
2.2.4 Settlement or Heave Potential stable or unstable slopes. However, design phase eval-
uations of major slopes or excavations must be based
This consideration can be pertinent whenever a new on defined strata and groundwater information, and
or increased structure or embankment loading is ap- on shear strength properties of soil and rock.
plied to a compressible soil. Major excavations can Soil data requirements include groundwater seep-
also result in heave of the foundation bottom and age patterns, the friction angle of granular soils, and
adjacent areas. Certain soils, such as soft clays, loose the shear strength of cohesive soils. Laboratory triax-
sands or organic deposits, are known to be compress- ia1 testing of undisturbed samples of cohesive soils
ible without demonstration by laboratory testing, and may be necessary to determine either drained or un-
early planning can be based on this general knowl- drained properties, depending on the type of analysis
edge. Knowledge of existing settlement problems in required. It may also be necessary to monitor obser-
the project area can also be used for planning. How- vation wells over a period of time to determine
ever, actual data are necessary to predict rates and changes in groundwater levels.
amounts of settlement. Other soils require data and Rock data requirements consist in part of determi-
analysis to determine settlement or heave potential nation of the strength of intact specimens from cores,
under particular loading conditions. In either case, however, the properties of the rock mass are of pri-
stratum definition and groundwater information are mary importance. Weathering, jointing, and other
necessary parts of the data. discontinuities will control the stability of a steep rock
Settlement due to compression of granular soils can face. Some information can be obtained from ordi-
occur as the load is applied. Data for estimating settle- nary core borings, but where jointing is critical or
ment can be obtained from empirical Standard Pene- unfavorable, and rock falls cannot be tolerated, there
tration Test relationships, from field plate bearing must be supplemental data. These can be obtained
tests and, in the case of elastic compression, from the from sophisticated coring techniques, geologic map-
0 results of laboratory triaxial testing of undisturbed
samples.
ping of available rock exposures, or mapping of rock
in test holes or adits. Used in combination, these
Estimates of the rate and amount of long-term techniques can provide a reasonable representation
settlement due to volume-change compression of co- of the system of joints and other discontinuities, per-
hesive soils, such as clays or organic soil deposits, are mitting valid stability analyses.
commonly based on data derived from laboratory
consolidation testing of undisturbed samples. Elastic 2.2.6 Lateral Earth Pressure and Excavation
compression of cohesive soils can be calculated on the Support
basis of modulus data from laboratory triaxial testing
on undisturbed samples. In some areas the consolida- Most projects will include some form of wall that is
tion or compression properties of a major soil stratum subject to earth pressures, either a retaining or foun-
are sufficiently well known for preliminary or general dation wall, or temporary excavation support. Data
evaluations. The presence and identification of the on soil strata and properties, groundwater levels, and
stratum may be confirmed by classification testing of the structural characteristics of the wall, will be neces-
disturbed samples from borings or test pits. sary during the design phase for permanent walls, and
At some locations there can also be potential for during the design or construction phase for temporary
settlement due to subsidence caused by conditions in excavation support, depending on the provisions of
underlying strata, such as solution cavities, mines, the construction contract. In either case the soil data
groundwater lowering or soil erosion. would normally be obtained during design-phase sub-
surface explorations.
2.2.5 Slope or Bottom Stability Gradation test results and Standard Penetration
Test data from drive sample test borings are usually
This consideration is applicable to temporary or per- sufficient to derive reasonable properties for granular
manent earth or rock slopes that exist or are con- soils, but field vane tests or laboratory shear testing
structed as part of a project. It can also apply to the may be necessary to determine drained or undrained
bottoms of major excavations. Instability can range properties of cohesive soils. It is important to also
from ravelling of a granular surface to a deep base consider the effects of fill, backfill, and construction

--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`--- 5
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Manual on Sirbsiirface Investigations

procedures on the properties that are selected for necessary to have data on stratum boundaries and soil
analysis. In the case of temporary excavation support and/or rock permeability for design and construction-
it may be necessary to analyze several stages of the phase evaluations.
excavation, with appropriate soil properties for each. For routine work, adequate permeability data for
estimating inflow and planning dewatering may often
2.2.7 Dewatering be developed from stratum definition and soil or rock
classification. However, where there can be major
Whenever a project involves excavation there is a water inflow or excavation bottom instability, or there
potential need for dewatering. It is particularly im- is a need to maintain groundwater level outside the
portant that groundwater levels and possible ranges excavation, it will be necessary to obtain information
of groundwater levels be carefully determined to min- on the vertical and horizontal permeability of various
imize the occurrence of unexpected dewatering prob- strata. If re-charging is to be attempted the proba-
lems during construction (Figure 2-1). When there bility of clogging should be evaluated, necessitating
can be water within an excavation depth, or there can information on water quality.
be artesian water pressures below an excavation, it is The permeability of relatively uniform isotropic
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

Figure 2-1. Without adequate dewatering, site preparation and grading becomes
waterlogged and schedules slip unnecessarily. (A. W. Hatheway)

6
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AASHTO T I T L E M S I 8 8 W 0639804 OOLL636 848 W

Sirbsiqface Data Reqiirernert fs

granular soil can usually be satisfactorily estimated long as there are not significant organic materials,
from gradation and Standard Penetration Test infor- such as topsoil or peat, and the soil can be satisfac-
mation, but most broadly-graded, cohesive, or an- torily placed and compacted. Laboratory testing of
isotropic soils require field or laboratory permeability jar or bag samples can determine organic content and
testing. Simple field permeability tests can usually be natural water content of soil, the latter for compari-
acceptably performed below cased boreholes, or in son with the laboratory determination of optimum
observation wells or piezometers, particularly if the water content for compaction. Gradation and Atter-
test is performed below the water table. Laboratory berg limit determinations can provide additional data
permeability tests are preferably performed on undis- with respect to frost susceptibility and expansion
turbed samples of soil. However, in the case of fine to characteristics.
medium granular soils, reconstituted samples are Excavated rock and clean granular soils can some-
generally used. times be economically utilized for riprap, aggregate,
Representative rock mass permeability data are processed material, select borrow, or other specifica-
more difficult to obtain because of the effects of joint tion items. The highest grade use would normally be
systems and other discontinuities. Effective or equiv- the most desirable. If the use is to be a contractor
alent permeability data can be obtained from pres- option, only routine testing may be necessary during
sure or pumping tests performed in rock in boreholes the design phase, with more extensive sampling and
with the aid of packers for test isolation. Multiple tests testing to be carried out at the time of proposed use. If
should be performed because the presence or absence the use is to be specified, a comprehensive design-
of discontinuities within the limits of an individual test phase sampling and testing program is necessary to
will dramatically affect the test results. establish the availability of adequate quality and
Large-scale pumping tests from drilled wells, using quantity of material. Explorations should provide
patterns of piezometers or observation weiis to define enough information to evaluate the cost of selectively
stabilized drawdown levels, can provide good specific excavating the material. Testing must address all of
information on dewatering requirements for a partic- the specification requirements for the proposed mate-
ular site or structure. These also permit the evaluation rial use, and should also consider other possible lower
of stratum permeability, or transmissibility. It should grade uses.
be noted that large scale pumping tests have limited
value beyond the actual test location when pervious
strata are irregular or discontinuous.

2.2.8 Use of Excavated Material


2.3 OTHER GEOTECHNICAL DATA
Whenever significant volumes of material are exca- REQUIREMENTS
vated for a project the use or disposal of the material
becomes a cost consideration. Large volumes of ma- 2.3.1 Geologic Constraints
terial can influence design, either because the mate-
rial can be effectively used in the particular project or While site geology is always a geotechnical considera-
in other projects, or because disposal cost outweighs tion for project planning, there are situations where
the benefits of excavation. Thus, the determination of geologic constraints will be a primary factor control-
quantities and properties of excavated material be- ling planning and design. Geologic constraints could
comes important. include faults, major glacial features such as buried
Early planning can usually be based on stratum and valleys, landslides, volcanic formations, leached soils,
groundwater definition, but positive commitment to or groundwater acquifers (Figure 2-2).
use of material requires investigation commensurate During early project planning, data for the evalua-
with the quality requirements for the proposed use. tion of possible geologic constraints will normally be
Simple disposal of non-natural materials can require obtained from available references, aerial photo-
investigation and testing to determine if hazardous graph interpretation, local geologic knowledge and/or
materials are present, while the use of non-natural site reconnaissance. Design-phase subsurface explo-
materials in embankments can be limited by corrosive rations, possibly including extensive test trenches,
properties or potential decomposition. Existing fills test pits, or adits for visual examination of geologic
require particularly careful investigation before com- features, are likely to be necessary to confirm prelimi-
mitment to project use because of the potential for nary evaluations, These confirming explorations will
@ random inclusions of unsuitable materials. permit assessment of the impact of each geologic con-
Natural soils can usually be used for ordinary fill as straint upon the project.

--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---
7

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AASHTO T I T L E IlSI 8 8 m Ob39804 0033637 7 8 4 m

Manirnl on Subsurface Itivestigntions


--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

Figure 2-2. Geologic constraints can seriously impact transportation projects, from construction through
operation and maintenance. This secondary road has suffered total damage from slope
movements over a period of years and has been abandoned. (A.W. Hatheway)

2.3.2 Seismic Evaluations of data on past seismic events, possibly with the aid of
computer programs. A comprehensive risk evalua-
When a proposed project is located in an area that has tion will consider earthquake magnitude, return pe-
potential for earthquakes there must be an evaluation riod, and epicentral distance to arrive at a design
of seismic risk. Depending on the level of risk, there value of bedrock or ground acceleration, and possibly
may or may not be a need to develop seismic design duration, for which a project must be designed.
parameters. Dynamic analyses for a project are generally con-
The evaluation of seismic risk can range from sim- cerned with foundation or embankment stability, and
ple acceptance of local codes to intensive geologic with earthquake forces to which a structure may be
studies of the site or route and probabilistic evaluation subjected. Soil data for these analyses will include

8
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AASHTO T I T L E MSI 8 8 W Ob39804 0033638 b3O W

Subsiirface Data Requrenients

cyclic shear strength and/or shear modulus values. concerns associated with permafrost and extreme
Basic stratum definition and groundwater informa- winter conditions.
tion are necessary. In some cases it will be sufficient to The three necessary conditions for the occurrence
establish soil classification and density from the re- of frost heaving are sub-freezing temperatures, avail-
sults of ordinary drive sampletest borings and routine able water, and frost-susceptible soil. Thus the neces-
classification tests, and then evaluate earthquake per- sary data will include soil strata and ground-
formance on the basis of historical comparisons and water definition. In addition, the soil type and water
published data for typical soils. content will determine the rate or depth of frost pene-
Comprehensive analyses for major projects may be tration, and soil gradation is the commonly used mea-
based on shear strength and modulus properties de- sure of frost susceptibility. Care must be taken with
termined by sophisticated laboratory dynamic testing respect to gradation where there is natural layering
of undisturbed samples of cohesionless or cohesive that is not reflected in laboratory test results.
soils. Shear modulus properties may also be deter-
mined by field seismic testing. The approach to be 2.3.5 Soil Expansion or Swell
taken should be selected on the basis of project re-
quirements. It should be noted that dynamic labora- Certain soils, most commonly in relatively warm dry
tory testing is relatively costly, and may not accurately climates, are characterized by problems with volume
model a particular design condition. change due to changes in water content. The avoid-
ance of differential foundation, floor slab heave, and
settlement depends upon the avoidance of either ex-
2.3.3 Corrosion or Decay Potential pansive soils in project areas or detrimental changes
in soil water content. Soil modification with lime is
If a project involves in-ground steel, concrete or wood sometimesproposed to mitigate expansion problems.
structural components, or buried utilities, there has Project design in areas of potential expansive soil
to be consideration of the potential for corrosion or problems should first consider historical information
decay. The corrosion problem can be particularly

--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---
from other projects in the area. Specific data acquisi-
acute if large amounts of electric current are used, tion for the project will consist mainly of stratum
conducted or generated in the vicinity. It is generally definition, groundwater information, and the deter-
considered that steel requires protection from cinders mination of index properties by classification testing
and near surface organic soils, and wood from damp- of disturbed samples. In some situations it may be
ness without submergence.Various salts and alkaline desirable to make laboratory determinations of the
or acid groundwater will attack concrete or metals. swelling pressure of undisturbed or compacted soil
Geotechnical investigation for corrosion evaluation samples. .
will consist primarily of determination of appropriate
properties for the strata and groundwater that have 2.3.6 Environmental Concerns
been defined by subsurface explorations. The tests for
corrosion evaluation will usually include resistivity This covers a variety of considerations, primarily re-
tests on disturbed soil samples in the laboratory or in lated to the effect of the construction and operation of
situ in the field, along with pH determinations and the proposed project on its surroundings. There is a
chemical analyses of both soil and groundwaterin the distinct geotechnical aspect to environmental effects
laboratory. The decay potential of untreated wood in because many features of project design and con-
the ground is primarily a function of groundwater struction techniques are directly related to subsurface
conditions. conditions. Poor soils can necessitate deep founda-
tions, with resulting dewatering and groundwater
2.3.4 Frost Penetration and Freezing drawdown or pile driving and accompanying noise.
Embankment construction can obstruct or contami-
Projects in areas that will have sub-freezing tempera- nate surface and subsurface water flow, and their
tures must consider frost, with the main concern be- construction may involve dust and noise. Grading will
ing possible heave of foundations or pavements due to expose soils to erosion. Many other construction op-
the formation of ice lenses. Frozen ground will also erations that are the necessary outcome of planning
tend to lift embedded structures because of adhesion. and design decisions, or the logical result of economic
Frozen slope surfaces will interfere with drainage, considerations, will affect the environment and
leading to spring sloughing, and the freezing of water should be evaluated.
in rock joint systems will reduce rock cut stability. Geotechnical data for environmental considera-
Arctic areas will also have much broader foundation tions can include almost all of the data that are neces-

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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

sary for project planning and design. It can also in- 2.3.8 Permanent Groundwater Control
volve field or laboratory testing that might not
otherwise be necessary for design, such as per- Design maximum and minimum water levels for
meability determinations, rock quality evaluation below-grade portions of projects are commonly de-
with respect to blasting characteristics, and soil grada- veloped from groundwater information. Where water
tion and plasticity for the prediction of behavior dur- levels would otherwise extend up into pavement, rail-
ing earthwork operations. Environmental considera- road track base or sub-base layers, underdrain
tion of effects outside of the site or route will also systems are designed to hold groundwater down at
require some knowledge of subsurface conditions out- acceptable levels. In some cases the normal ground-
side the project limits; in most cases this knowledge water level will be similarly artificially lowered to
will be extrapolated or inferred from available infor- avoid a need for waterproofing below-grade struc-
mation, rather than determined directly by off-site tures. Occasionally, recharging may be necessary to
subsurface explorations. preserve existing groundwater levels outside of a proj-
ect area.
The data required for the design of permanent
2.3.7 Erosion Protection groundwater control is substantially the same as is
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

required for planning dewatering. From the point of


This can be both a design and a construction consid- view of system longevity there will be added concern
eration, with the latter relating primarily to environ- for design of the collection system to meet filter crite-
mental concerns. Erosion is commonly related to sur- ria and minimize the potential for clogging or corro-
face water flow, but can also be a condition related to sion. More accurate permeability determinations and
subsurface seepage and drainage. flow calculations may be warranted when piping and
Data for the design of erosion protection will in- pumping costs will be a significant part of overall
clude both surface and subsurface water levels and project cost.
velocities or gradients (Figure 2-3). Possible extreme
levels and potential changes due to proposed con-
struction must be considered. Where flow can be 2.3.9 Soil or Rock Modification
against or in natural soils, stratum definition is neces-
sary. Some projects will involve one form or another of soil
Soil susceptibility to surface erosion is primarily a or rock modification for engineering or economic rea-
function of the water flow and the gradation and sons. Until a particular type of modification is given
plasticity of the soil. Density and cementation will detailed consideration for design, the subsurface data
also affect the susceptibility. Most of the soil informa- that are used for planning will usually consist of the
tion will be provided by test boring data and labora- basic stratum definition and groundwater informa-
tory classification testing of disturbed samples, but tion, along with such other data as may be provided by
cementation may only be evident in undisturbed ex- project subsurface explorations,
posures. Cementation, if given consideration, must A particular proposed modification, such as
also be evaluated as to possible deterioration when grouting, sand or stone drains, or lime stabilization,
exposed to water flow. Where erosion protection is will usually require data on specific properties, or
determined to be necessary it must be designed to more detailed information on the soil or rock that is to
economically resist the water flow without loss of, or be modified. A determination of groundwater is
damage to the protected soil surface. likely to also be necessary.
Erosion by subsurface flow can be a major threat to Where grouting is planned, the type of grouting
a project if it extends by piping as an open conduit that is utilized will depend on the intent of the
under a water retaining structure or a foundation. The grouting and the character of the spaces to be filled.
manner of occurrence is similar to that for surface For soil this necessitates determination of gradation,
flow, but there must also be an open path for the and some evaluation of in situ density, void ratio or
movement and loss of the eroded soil. Protection permeability. Soil gradation can be obtained by labo-
against subsurface erosion is commonly afforded by ratory testing of disturbed boring or test pit samples,
granular filter materials or filter fabrics which have but actual density, void ratio or permeability determi-
particles or perforations sized to satisfactorily pass the nation will require field or laboratory testing of undis-
water flow without permitting movement or loss of turbed material. Information on joint spacing, contin-
the soil particles. The basic data requirement for the uity and condition is similarly necessary for rock. The
design of filter protection is the gradation or range of evaluation of rock for grouting is often attempted on
gradations of the soils that are to be protected. the basis of records and recovered rock cores from

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~

Subsurface Data Requirements

Figure 2-3. Wire-basket gabions offer on-site fabrication of heavy-duty erosion protection. (A.W. Hatheway)

test borings. Water pressure or pumping tests can drains are to be installed in cohesive soil to accelerate
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

provide rock permeability data, and useful informa- consolidation, as would be-thecase for a surcharging
tion can sometimes be obtained from examination of operation, the consolidation data that are necessary
exposed rock surfaces in cuts, adits, or shafts. to set drain spacing can be obtained from laboratory
Vertical or horizontal drains have the objective of testing of undisturbed samples. Granular drain fill
relieving pore pressure within a soil or rock mass, material should be sized to carry the flow while meet-
both when that water is a product of natural processes ing filter criteria with respect to the surrounding soil.
or results from soil consolidation. Soil permeability Thus, gradation information is necessary.
data from field or laboratory testing are sometimes Other modification techniques can require more
appropriate for evaluating required drain capacities, specialized data. As an example, the effectiveness of
out in other situations the capacity must be matched lime stabilization in improving the performance of
to an existing subsurface flow condition. Where clay is partly a function of the reactivity of the clay.

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Reactivity is related to the chemical properties of the provide information on existing foundations for which
clay and can be measured as the increase in compres- records are lacking. Analyses of support capacity for
sive strength of compacted specimens prepared with underpinning require much the same data as those for
the addition of lime. new construction. Since movements during and after
load transfer can be differential with respect to other
2.3.10 Material Sources parts of the underpinned structure, it is also impor-
tant that short- and long-term settlement and heave
There is not usually a preconstruction investigation of be considered, and that appropriate data be ob-
soil or rock material sources outside of the normal tained.
excavation limits for a project. Furthermore, the eval-
uation of off-project material sources is customarily 2.3.12 Post-construction Maintenance
left to the Contractor, subject to testing and approval
by the Engineer during construction. Design decisions should consider maintenance cost ,
However, in some cases it will be desirable to carry and a number of geotechnical factors can influence
out a design-phase investigation to locate sources of long-term maintenance requirements. For the most
borrow materials for a project, at least to the extent of part, these factors are given consideration under the
confirming that suitable materials are available. It various design items, but local conditions may be
may be sufficient to map surficial geology by aerial neglected or the long-term effects may be slighted to
photography interpretation or other remote sensing, serve short-term economy.
and/or ground reconnaissance, supplemented by re- Differential settlement, frost heave, or expansive
view of available geologic references and plans. soils can greatly accelerate the need for pavement
Where this approach does not provide enough cer- repair or reconstruction, or cause serious damage to
tainty as to either quality or quantity there can be buildings or buried utilities. Groundwater seepage or
subsurface exploration by auger holes, test borings, or springs can cause slope problems or wet basements,
test pits to confirm stratum boundaries and ground- certain soils are particularly susceptible to erosion by
water levels, and obtain disturbed samples. surface flow, and some soil or rock slopes have a high
Borrow material will typically be ordinary fill or probability of gradual sloughing or ravelling.
bankrun sand and gravel. There is not a need for in- Subsurface exploration programs should be care-
depth determination of properties unless the material fully planned to locate potential maintenance prob-
is to be processed for special use such as aggregate, or lems. There is no substitute for on-site or along-route
is itself the result of previous processing by man. reconnaissance by experienced geologists or engi-
Routine laboratory gradation and compaction testing neers to detect problem areas or conditions that have
of representative samples from test pits is usually only limited extent. Initial mapping of surficial geol-
adequate. ogy can delineate areas of soil types or groundwater
conditions that should be field checked for evidence of
2.3.11 Underpinning problem conditions. Field checking for potential
problemsshould extend through construction; experi-
Excavation for structures or roadbeds in urban areas enced personnel should get out and look, and should
can reduce or endanger the support of existing struc- involve both design and maintenance personnel in the
tures, necessitating underpinning for temporary or resolution of potential problems.
permanent transfer of existing loads to lower level
supporting strata. This is another aspect of project
construction that is often considered to be a Contrac- 2.4 USUAL DATA REQUIREMENTS
tor responsibility, subject to contract stipulations as to FOR TRANSPORTATION-RELATED
structure monitoring and tolerable movement. Alter- PROJECTS
natively, where there is an obvious need for complex
or major underpinning, the necessary structure sup- 2.4.1 Bridges and Viaducts
port may be included in the project design and de-
tailed in the contract documents. Most major transportation projects will include
Whatever approach is chosen, there is a need for bridge or viaduct-type structures, and the design and
subsurface information for analysis of the load trans- construction of these structures will usually involve
fer and design of the underpinning support. In addi- most of what has been categorized as common data
tion to the basic stratum definition and groundwater requirements (Figure 2-4). The primary concerns will
information, which may be incomplete because of be foundation support and potential settlement, as
access liniitations, there may be a need for test pits to these factors will frequently control bridge type and

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Subsirrface Data Requirements

-
Figure 2-4. Bridge-pier foundation construction of drilled shafts in weak rock. (A.W. Hatheway)

span lengths. Competent soil or rock will permit 2.4.2 Retaining Structures
spread footing support of relatively economical short
spans, using rolled steel or prestressed concrete These are also included in most transportation-
beams, and conditions of minimal settlement will per- related projects; they can range from simple bridge
niit the use of rigid frames or continuous spans. Deep wingwalls to long walls retaining embankments in
foundations, such as piles, are ordinarily likely to be urban areas. Walls also involve most of the more
more costly than footings with the result that poor :common geotechnical data requirements, with the
foundation conditions will tend to favor longer spans. need for a retaining wall, or the type of retaining wall,
Conventional arch bridges require both vertical and being very much dependent on foundation support
horizontal support capability at the abutments. conditions and the potential for settlement. Lateral
Lateral earth pressure on abutments and tempor- earth pressures will normally control the design of
ary excavation support, along with dewatering, are whatever type of wall is selected, and resistance to
likely to also be major concerns for bridges and via- sliding must be considered. Competent foundation
ducts. However, slope stability and use of excavated soil or rock, or a suitable bearing stratum at moderate
material may have little or no impact on design and depth, will favor conventional retaining walls, while
construction. The various items in the other data poor or unusual foundation conditions can make un-
requirements category may or may not apply to a conventional walls more appropriate.
particular bridge or viaduct project. Probably the
most frequent concerns will be environmental and 2.4.2.1 Conveiitionnl Retaiiiiiig Walls. The design
erosion protection, the latter becoming important of conventional reinforced concrete walls requires
when the particular project involves a water crossing very much the same geotechnical data input as
and is subject to scour or wave action. Corrosion or bridges and viaducts, with lateral earth assuming
0 decay can be important for the design of pile founda-
tiotis.
more importance and excavation support possibly be-
coming more complex. Design earth pressures for

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Manual on Subsrirface Investigations

cantilever or gravity walls will typically be the ac- stalled as the excavation between the walls pro-
tive case unless dynamic forces due to machine- gresses.
induced vibrations or earthquakes cause a build-up in The evaluation and design of diaphragm walls re-
pressures. Slope stability during construction will be quires consideration of the impact of the in situ mate-
important if the wall is part of a cut into an existing rial on the excavation process, i.e. will obstructions
slope. Permanent groundwater control may be neces- significantly hamper excavation or result in unaccept-
sary to minimize lateral pressures acting on the wall. able wall quality? The in situ material must also pro-
vide vertical support for the weight of the wall and
2.4.2.2 Crib and Reinforced-earth Walls. Some al- stability of the excavation, at least during the con-
ternative types of retaining walls offer greater toler- struction process, and there must be a practicable way
ance of settlement, along with resistance to lateral to provide lateral support of the wall by tieback an-
earth pressures that is derived from the earth mass chors or struts. When bentonite slurry is utilized in
behind the face of the wall. In this category are crib the excavation process there must be consideration of
walls, gabions, and reinforced-earth walls. These groundwater quality.
walls are most commonly used in connection with Geotechnical data for diaphragm walls should
embankments, or possibly side-hill cuts, rather than therefore also be similar to that for conventional re-
for the support of soil alongside of excavations. taining walls, with particular emphasis on the charac-
Crib walls and gabions are formed by the contain- ter of the material in which the walls will be con-
ment of soil or gravel and cobble-sized rock in rela- structed. When appropriate, there should be further
tively flexible structural units. The crib walls use steel, data from the testing of groundwater samples and/or
concrete, or timber members interconnected to form data on potential anchor zone materials and ground-
a series of box-like cells, while gabions utilize filled water conditions for tiebacks.
and stacked wire mesh baskets. Neither would be
expected to have the appearance or durability of a 2.4.3 Cuts and Embankments
well-built reinforced concrete wall, but both can toler-
ate substantial settlement without distress. They Roads, railroads, and airport runways will usually
function as gravity walls, and do require foundation require major cuts and fills to meet design grade
soil or rock to provide adequate overall stability for limitations. To the extent possible, grades and align-
the wall and retained earth. ments will be planned to balance cut and fill quan-
A reinforced-earth wall incorporates a wide zone of tities on a given project, thereby minimizing borrow
soil backfill behind the wall into the mass of the wall or waste. However, the effort at balancing quantities
by means of tension steel strips that are laid out onto will be subject to a variety of limitations, ranging from
backfill layers as the fill is placed. The strips tie back a embankment stability or settlement to non-geo-
relatively flexible wall face. Design is semi-empirical technical considerations, such as meeting existing
and involves consideration of the friction capacity and alignments and grades or reducing environmental im-
corrosion potential of the steel strips, along with the pact.
basic concern for the stability of the reinforced mass Most of the previously categorized common data
on its foundation. requirements can apply to cuts and embankments,
Geotechnical data for both crib walls and rein- although foundation support, lateral earth pressure,
forced-earth walls should therefore be similar to that excavation support ,and dewatering may have limited
for conventional walls, with added consideration of applicability. The primary concerns will be embank-
properties of proposed fill materials. ment and slope stability and settlement potential,
which will control cut and fill slopes, embankment
2.4.2.3 Diaphragm Walls. Diaphragm walls are heights, and possibly rate of construction. Emplace-
usually used to support the earth alongside of excava- ment of embankment fill should be continuously
tions, and can provide both temporary excavation monitored by geotechnical personnel so as to achieve
support and the finished wall in one operation. The proper strength and settlement characteristics and to
term diaphragm is most commonly applied to a con- avoid later deformational damage. Weak or highly
crete wall cast in-place in a slurry-filledtrench prior to compressible soils may have to be removed, dis-
the general excavation. It can also include other in- placed, or bypassed, and any major limitations should
stallation procedures that provide a wall consisting of be known during early project planning, so that pre-
laterally supported panels or units, typically with all mium costs can be evaluated before alignments are
or part of the wall construction accomplished prior to finalized. Detailed information along the selected
the general excavation. Bracing in the form of tie- alignment should then be obtained by means of de-
backs or struts, or permanent decks or floors, is in- sign-phase subsurface explorations.

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Subsurface Data Requirements

* Data pertinent to the use of excavated material,


and other probable considerations, such as expansive
soil or frost penetration, environmental concerns,
erosion protection or underdrains, or material
sources, should also be obtained during the design-
ration being subject to the limitations imposed by soil
and rock conditions and properties. There must be
sufficient subsurface data input during early project
planning to reasonably assess the feasibility and cost
of various alternatives. Any geologic constraints must
phase investigation. be known at an early stage.
Design-phase data for tunnels and underground
2.4.4. Roadway and Airfield Pavements construction will be primarily concernedwith stability
of materials being excavated, with particular em-
Pavement projects require data for the structural de- phasis on soil or rock surfaces exposed during con-
sign of pavement sections. Where the pavement will struction, and on gradual or long-term adjustments
be on an embankment the pavement subgrade can be that may affect unsupported walls or roofs after con-
controlled as part of the embankment construction, struction. Data must also relate to earth or rock pres-
but in cuts the in situ soil or rock conditions and sure and temporary support, and sophisticated in situ
properties must be determined. pressure testing may be warranted. Dewatering will
Local consolidation settlement under short dura- usually be a concern, and soil or rock modification,
tion pavement loadings would not be expected to be a underpinning, maintenance, and use of excavated
consideration, except possibly in areas of subgrade material can also be important considerations.
disturbance or trench backfilling during construction. The engineering of tunnels and underground struc-
Subgrade strength is a basic consideration, generally tures will extend into the construction phase, as exca-
requiring the data described under foundation sup- vation and exposure permit confirmation or require
port; the California Bearing Ratio (CBR) test is also a revision of the properties that have been assumed for
direct measure of subgrade support capacity widely
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design. Instrumentation and monitoring during con-


used in empirical pavement design procedures. struction should be carefully considered and planned
Weak subgrade soils can necessitate a thickened to aid in confirming design assumptions and provide
pavement section, removal and replacement of poor data input for safe and economical design of future
quality soil, or some form of soil stabilization or im- similar projects.
provement. There are also other potential considera-
tions, which may or may not apply to a particular 2.4.7 Poles, Masts and Towers
project, that can require appropriate data for input to
pavement section design. These include frost pene- The data that are required for the design and con-
tration, soil expansion, groundwater control, mainte- struction of poles and towers will be primarily con-
nance, and the availability of pavement materials. cerned with support capacity. There will not usually
be major excavations or dewatering, but there may be
2.4.5 Railroad and Tkansit 'Ikacks consideration of corrosion or decay, erosion protec-
tion OK soil or rock modification.
Data required relative to track support are similar to Since poles and towers may have high wind loads,
that required for pavement design. Dynamic effects the evaluation of soil or rock suppo'rt capacity will
of track loads are typically more extreme than the often have to consider lateral resistance for poles and
effects of wheel loads on pavements, and there is a masts, uplift capacity for structural towers, and guy
greater concern for good drainage of exposed ballast. wire anchorages. These considerations will generally
Subgrade strength and the other considerations enu- be a function of the properties that are determined for
merated here must also be considered in the design of lateral earth pressure calculations, but theoretical an-
a track system. alyses of side-bearing resistance or friction capacity
In addition, the potential for movement of rela- may not accurately model the field condition. In some
tively fine-grained subgrade soils into the voids of cases large scale in situ horizontal bearing or vertical
crushed stone ballast is a major concern. Both the use or inclined pull-out tests may be warranted.
of vibration-type compaction and filter fabric on the
subgrade is frequently specified for railbed construc- 2.4.8 Culverts and Pipes
tion. Filter protection data requirements are dis-
cussed under erosion protection. Large box culverts will generally require data com-
2.4.6 Tunnels and Underground Structures parable to that for bridges and viaducts, with particu-
lar concern for lateral earth pressure and excavation
Design for underground construction is basically a support and dewatering. Large span metal arches and
geotechnical engineering effort, with project configu- pipe arches are dependent on foundation support at

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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

the haunches, and good quality, highly competent eral lands, such as those administerel by the U.S.
backfill on the sides of the pipes. Smaller culverts and Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Manage-
pipes are less dependent on foundation support, but ment.
in the case of high fills or deep trenches, settlement One of the most important facets of geotechnical
and/or excavation bottom stability assume more im- participation in maintenance management is develop-
portance. Corrosion is a concern for buried under- ment of a standard method of recording maintenance
water metal. stemming from natural causes. From such experience,
methods of design-avoidance should become appar-
ent and occurrence frequencies for various types of
natural damage should be reduced over a period of
2.5 MAINTENANCE MANAGEMENT years.
Once the geological sources of recurring mainte-
Transportion system maintenance budgets are gener- nance problems have been detected, it will usually
ally developed on the basis of regional experience become apparent that the causes are predictable on
dealing with normal traffic, the effects of vehicle acci- the standard method of regional physiography and
dents on a statistical basis, and incidental remedial will be more pronounced in some Districts of larger
treatments of a more or less unpredictable nature. state or provincial Agencies and may also overlap
Maintenance in the last category usually involves the between adjacent districts, states or provinces. A
repair of facilities damaged in some way by the ele- source of these regionally important geological fac-
ments. Some of the repairs can be assigned to causes tors are the yearly proceedings of the Highway Geol-
of a geological or geotechnical nature and the more ogy Symposium and the Idaho Symposium on Engi-
obvious types of geologically-related damage are eas- neering Geology and Soils Engineering.
ily identified by design engineers. Maintenance per-
sonnel can readily identify various forms of slope
movements that disrupt traffic flow or create displace-
ments in the roadway. Geotechnically-related prob- 2.6 REHABILITATION PROJECTS
lems can usually be associated with deficiencies in
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design or construction; they are usually hard to de- With the completion of the Federal Interstate High-
tect, subtle and may be difficult to assign to a specific way Program, attention has been turned to the prob-
cause. lem of rehabilitation of the older segments of these
Structural and highway design personnel can do routes, as well as other primary and secondary roads.
much to assist in the detection of causes for geologi- The rehabilitation program is generally involved with
cally and geotechnically-related damage by develop- resurfacing, rehabilitation, and reconstruction. A
ing programs which catalog examples of related dam- separate FHWA program also addresses the rehabili-
age factors. District-wide briefings to both design and tation of bridges. Subsurface investigation techniques
maintenance personnel should be held, and identi- are an important part of planning for rehabilitation
fication of such natural causes should be stressed. projects.
Geotechnical personnel should be able to list from The underlying objectives of rehabilitation expen-
experience, many similar factors underlying recurring ditures are to restore the functional use of transporta-
maintenance expenditures. tion routes, with the application of optimal funding,
Data appropriate to the geotechnical aspects of to make full use of existing structural components of
maintenance management will include physical evi- each route. Geotechnical personnel are capable of
dence of any problems or distress that can have geo- providing significant input into the planning and man-
technical origin. Groundwater seepage, slope or agement of rehabilitation projects. Since the goal of
structure movement, and pavement distress are ob- optimization of expenditures requires maximum use
vious concerns. Recorded evidence should include of existing structures, geotechnical personnel should
identifiable soil and rock exposures, weather condi- be called upon to inspect and record evidence of
tions, and the geometry of the problem area. failure or distress in rehabilitation candidates proj-
Some natural damage wiil require rapid assess- ects. Most of the damage requiring rehabilitation is
ment, remedial design, and award of a competitive- the result of the following:
bid contract for repair outside of the Agency force
account. In times of natural disaster, repair funding Overstressing by vehicular traffic
often requires special legislative or Federal appro- Aging beyond the life of the component
priations. Such a requirement is commonly found in Improper construction techniques
damage to State and Federal highways lying on Fed- Improper construction materials

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Subsurface Data Requirements

Obsolescent design provisions coring, geophysical surveys and laboratory


Failure of natural materials or subgrade units testing.
below or adjacent to the roadway or other struc- 6. Develop an assessment of the nature and ex-
ture under consideration tent of geotechnical influences relating to route
Upgrading of route dimension, layout, and traf- and structure distress; integrate this assess-
fic requirements since construction ment into the on-going planning and structural
evaluation of the damage noted during the geo-
With exception of the final reason stated above, the technical assessment mapping and subsequent
reasons underlying need for rehabilitation work can observations by other transportation special-
be detected and recorded in the field by trained geo- ists.
technical observers. The evidence that wili appear is
that of surface and pavement pitting; pavement crack- The end product of field, office, and laboratory as-
ing; pavement edge sloughing and erosion; erosion of sessment should be a thorough understanding of the
structural supports for bridges and viaducts; broad nature and extent of the requirements for rehabilita-
roadway surface depressions (settlement-induced), tion as weli as the development of actual and specifica-
lateral movement of fills, supporting embankments tions for the required rehabilitation work.
and cut slopes; deterioration of concrete due to disin-
tegration of mineral aggregate, and frequent erosion
and runoff debris falling or flowing into the roadway. 2.7 ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS
The evidence of distress and damage can be de-
tected and recorded by engineering geologist and The environmental review process initiated in the
geotechnical engineers on a base plan reproduced United States in 1969, with the passage of the Na-
from the desigdcontract or as-constructed plans for tional Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), has had a
the project. For projects which are not presently sup- profound effect on new transportation systems con-
ported by record plans, geotechnical personnel can structed. It is imperative that Agency design person-
compile simple pace-and-compass plots of key areas nel take appropriate action to determine that they
of damage, supplemented by site-related photo- have not overlooked or otherwise devalued environ-
graphs. Maps at 1:200 scale are ideal for recording mental factors that will be affected by construction
most evidence of wear and distress of transportation and operation of each transportation project.
systems. The basic requirements for incorporating geo-
Geotechnical participation in rehabilitation plan- technical contributions into environmental reports
ning can be accomplished in an orderly manner, pro- are covered in Section 15 of this manual. Each
viding support from the beginning of planning. Some Agency should take steps to determine that proper
of the usual steps in the procedure are as follow: coordination exists between geotechnical managers
and design personnel who are tasked with future
1. Locate and review existing records of the proj- transportation needs. Projects have been defeated
ect such as the design and as-built plans. when apparent negative aspects have been portrayed
2. Make a rapid reconnaissance of the site or seg- that the Agency has either not detected or which the
ment, combining the expertise of highway Agency has not gathered sufficient data to prove for
planner, bridge and structure engineer and en- nonsignificant impact. Before making decisions relat-
gineering geologist or geotechnical engineer; ing to commitment of significant field investigation
determine the objectives of observations to be resources, it may be desirable for Agency manage-
made in more detail. ment to call together its experts and consultants to
3. Make a geotechnical assessment map at 1:200 discuss regional experience and to develop a plan to
or other specified scale, carefully noting the identify potential negative impact factors and to in-
physical nature and orientationhocation of all vestigate their natures and magnitudes.
types of distress; take hand soil and rock sam- It has been previously stated that geotechnical data
ples where necessary; take photographs and for environmental assessment can include almost all
relate them to the assessment map. of the data that is necessary for project planning and
4. Plan for supplementary subsurface explora- design, although ordinarily in less detail.
tions to verify or determine the nature and As in the case of maintenance management, recur-
extent of conditions in the roadway subgrade, ring experience in environmental impacts of a geolog-
a supporting embankments, and adjacent cuts,
that may be related to the observed distress.
5. Conduct the borehole sampling, pavement
ical and geotechnical nature is also an important
source of data which can be brought to bear in plan-
ning environmental assessment efforts.

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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

2.8 REFERENCES Office of Structure Construction. Department of


American Association of State Highway and Trans- Transportation. California Foundation Manual.
portation Officials (AASHTO). Standard Specfica- Sacramento, California, 1984.
tiom For Transportation Materials and Methods of Symposium on Engineering Geology and Soils Engi-
Sampling and Testing, Part II-Methods of Sampling neering. Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual Engi-
and Testing. 14th Edition, Washington, D.C.: neering Geology and Soils Engineering Symposium,
AASHTO, 1986. 1983, sponsored by Idaho Transportation Dept.,
Highway Geology Symposium. Proceedings of the Univ. of Idaho, Idaho State University, Boise State
Annual Highway Geology Symposium, 33rd Sympo- University, Boise, Idaho, 1983.
sium, Vail, Colorado; 1982. Special Publication No. Wyoming State Highway Department. Wyoming
22, Colorado Geological Survey, Dept. of Natural Highway Department Engineering Geology Pro-
Resources, State of Colorado, 1983. cedures Manual, 1983. Cheyenne, Wyoming, 1983.
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. U S .
Code, Title 42, Sec. 4321, Public Law 91-190.

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3.0 CONDUCT OF INVESTIGATIONS

Geological and geotechnical investigations for major Geotechnical data should be considered influential or
transportation projects eventually involve consider- even critical in all stages of each project.
able expenditures of professional time and in-house Geotechnical personnel should consider interim re-
or subcontracted subsurface exploration services. The lease of data. Such releases, however, must be care-
investigations nearly always represent successive fully described in terms of their provisional nature.
levels of effort, each based on the results of previous Each stage-related or interim report or data release
work. Careful planning of such efforts is required so should reflect available data, Many products, such as
that data are interpreted after acquisition and the geologic maps and subsurface profiles can be continu-
findings are applied to optimize each succeeding work ally revised and updated to portray more accurate or
task. completed interpretations, based on increased infor-
mation and verified interpretations.
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Final reports should generally include a summary


3.1 TRANSPORTATION PROJECT of previously submitted data and interim reports. If
PLANNING agency poiicy permits, previous data may be consid-
ered superceded and should be discarded; later ambi-
Transporation agencies conduct their most detailed guities resulting from multiple reports will then be
geotechnical inv&igations in association with major, avoided. The final geotechnical report should also
new projects. The overall planning procedure for con- present a clearly integrated summary of geological
duct of these major projects has been described in and geotechnical conditions and thereby remain as a
TRB Synthesis Report 33. The procedural steps are: single-source reference. Such a report should be
made available at the start of final design and may, if
Corridor Study agency policies permit ,serve as a reference document
Route Selection for contract bidders.
Preliminary Design
Final Design
Advertising and Bidding 3.2 ALTERNATE ROUTE SELECTION
Construction
Geotechnical personnel are in a position to provide a
It is the viewpoint of this Manual that geotechnical variety of preliminary assessments which can be made
and geological personnel should be involved in pro- as the result of literature review, photogeologic inter-
viding basic data for decision makers at each pro- pretation , and limited field reconnasisance. In those
cedural stage. Many transportation agencies and key agencies not now using geotechnical participation at
officials prefer to employ this expertise selectively the alternate route location phase, a trial example of
rather than routinely. Section 3 cites examples such a product should be sufficient to gain acceptance
whereby geological and geotechnical input can be of the concept.
cost effective at all stages. An example of alternate route geotechnical map-
Geological and geotechnical information is basic to ping has been developed by the Soils and Geology
the design process; it must be produced in a timely Section of the Kansas DT. Alternate route area
fashion and be made available as one of the first- maps such as these portray the distribution of geologi-
received packages of data. Transportation systems cal and soil units that may be used by design engineers
0 must be designed to accommodate the natural prop-
erties of soil and rock as well as the user's needs.
and others. The mapping is usually accompanied by a
brief report pointing out the desirable and undesir-

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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

able features of each map unit, as well as any geologic political questions of basic need and financing are
constraints (See Section 5). answered, the design team is asked to initiate rapid
In Kansas, such mapping is produced routinely as determinations of siting, routing and general fea-
part of the corridor analysis of the Environmental sibility. Seasonal considerations are an important fac-
Services Section and hence serves many uses, includ- tor in performance of field investigations. Unfavor-
ing the Environmental Impact Statement. able weather conditions can easily add 15 to 25
percent to costs of field investigations.
Agency planning teams should include a geotechni-
3.3 GUIDELINES FOR MINIMUM cal representative so that proper lead times and initial
INVESTIGATIONS inputs are received and considered. This geologist or

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geotechnicalengineer wili be able to convert concepts
Occasionally a question will arise regarding the level into geotechnical impacts on the basis of hisher re-
of investigation appropriate to a particular transpor- gional experience. The geotechnical representative
tation structure or road segment. The question should will be able to provide conceptual planning informa-
be considered from the standpoint of what may be tion.
required of subsurface investigations as a function of Conceptual planning requires only a minimum of
natural conditions. If the geologic framework of the information to begin formulation of the costs and
site or alignment is expected to be simple and geologic schedules required for developing the entire geo-
constraints (Section 5) are minimal or lacking then a technical data package. As soon as the need for the
minimal investigationmay be warranted. An example project is recognized and the end points or general
of this might be a site in the great mid-Central tiil location of construction are identified, the Agency
plain, in such states as Illinois, Iowa, or Indiana, geotechnical staff should, within a matter of days, be
where the till is of predictable grain-size nature and able to present a synopsis of impact factors, as identi-
bearing capacity. However in valleys in the same pro- fied in this Manual. There are two levels of impact
vince, localized, often softer, bodies of post-glacial factors that can be identified:
deposits may present variable and less desirable con-
ditions. 8 Level-One Geotechnical Impacts: These are
Experienced geotechnical personnel in transporta- well-recognized regional geologic and geo-
tion agencies generally agree that about 0.7 to 1.0 technical conditions that will probably be
percent of total construction costs should be allocated encountered on most projects, regardless of
for an average-condition subsurface investigation. size. Examples include areas of poor bearing
For sites or alignmentsin areas which are underlain by capacity, geologic constraints found in the
poorer quality soil and rock units, or which may be region and potentially adverse environmental
impacted by geologic constraints, an increased level impacts.
of expenditure should be budgeted. Costs of subsur- Level-Two GeotechnicalImpacts: Further con-
face investigations, as a percent of construction cost siderations of the effect of geological conditions
are usually higher for rehabilitation projects. Q p - on planning, design, costs and environmental
ically, the subsurface investigationwill break down to impact are those which are related to project
about 75 percent for engineering and about 25 per- size or magnitude. Examples of such impacts or
.cent for subsurface explorations. considerations are stability of large cuts, the
Sites in areas underlain by predictable subsurface costs associated with developing and transport-
conditions and minimal or non-existing geologic con- ing construction material or with disposingof ex-
straints can probably be safely explored by subsurface cavation waste, the costs associated with siting
investigations funded at about 0.50 percent of total of large facilities in urban areas, and the costs of
estimated construction cost. It is believed, however, designing large embankments in seismic risk
that few sites can be properly engineered on the basis zones or areas of marginal bearing capacity or
of subsurface investigation expenditures of less than highly compressible foundation soils,
this amount.
Level-One impacts will generally be recognizable to
experienced geotechnicalpersonnel from the very be-
3.4 PLANNING AND PHASING ginning of site or route identification. Level-Two as-
sessments will begin to be identified as soon as the
Geotechnical investigationsare sometimes difficult to geotechnical team begins its project-related evalua-
manage and control from a scheduling and fiscal tions. Level-Two data will continue to appear
standpoint. In most projects, as soon as the socio- throughout the subsurface investigation and must be

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Conduct of Investigations

identified and assessed immediately and reported to 3.5.2 Study of Preliminary Pians
the overall design team as soon as possible. Level-Two
data are generally crucial to final siting, dimensioning Many transportation projects are planned in phases,
and elevation positioning of critical structures along recognizing that unknown geologic and geotechnical
the transportation project. conditions wiil be encountered and defined during
Phasing, as a means of controlling the direction and preliminary site reconnaissance and exploration.
speed of field investigations, can be effectively uti- Geotechnical personnel and the transportation sys-
lized from the beginning of any project. tem planners should maintain a close liaison, dealing
with developing findings. The coordination should
begin during concept development and continue
3.5 CONDUCT OF INVESTIGATIONS through selection of all elements of the system align-
ment. Throughout this period, the geotechnical per-
Phasing of subsurface investigations can be developed sonnel should provide information on the expected
on the basis of identification of the major components nature of site conditions. Much of the geotechnical

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of the transportation system under consideration and response should be forthcoming within days or weeks.
the degree to which the size and magnitude of the Literature searches, Agency files, and a basic photo-
component structures interrelate with expected geo- geologic interpretation can produce results often as
logic conditions. A generalized sequence of initial use detailed and useful as those depicted in the photo-
of each of a number of subsurface investigation activ- geologic interpretation of Figure 4-1. Project team
ities is discussed below. Although a particular activity discussions will define the alternatives to major struc-
is introduced in sequence, it may be necessary to tures such as bridges, viaducts, and tunnels, often
repeat that activity later in the investigation. identifying possibilities for shortening or reducing the
size of such structures.
3.5.1 Literature Search (Review of Existing
Information) 3.5.3 Formulation of Tentative Field Exploration
Plan
The term Literature Search wil be used in a broad
sense to describe the accumulation of all existing in- At the completion of the office reconnaissance, the
formation on a particular project prior to field investi- project team should be familiar with the expected
gation for the project. This literature may be print rock and soil types in the project area; the general
such as reports, journal articles, reports, maps, or effect of topography, vegetation and near-surface
non-print such as aerial photographs or geophysical groundwater conditions on site exploration plans, the
logs, or even personal communications such as tele- probable depth ranges for borings; the need for sup-
phone conversations or letters. The sources of the porting engineering geophysical surveys; and require-
literature may be well recognized public sources ments for hydrogeological studies. It should be possi-
such as the United States GovernmentDepartment of ble at this stage, for experienced geotechnical
the Interior, Geological survey (U.S.G.S.) or the personnel to develop a scope of field exploration and
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation field and laboratory testing that will meet design re-
Service, state geological surveys or other state or quirements, to within about 25 percent by cost.
municipal sources, professional journals or societies,
project reports either in-house or otherwise, aerial 3.5.4 Field Reconnaissance
photographs (remote sensing), well logs, and per-
sonal communication with individuals with local A field reconnaissance can be planned on the basis of
knowledge. known project concepts and requirements and on the
The level of effort expended on this review is estab- basis of findings from the literature search and image
lished by the size and complexity of the project. How- interpretation that represent the f i s t activity of sub-
ever, regardless of the size of a project, some review surface investigations. The reconnaissance should be
should take place prior to going into the field. The based on formal objectives; that is, to determine the
minimal effort is to procure a plan and the topogra- nature and areal extent of major geologic units, to
phy of the site. The same document may serve both gain an appreciation of their engineering characteris-
purposes. It may be either a plan surveyed for the tics and to develop the site region or site-area (within
project or a photographically enlarged (blow-up) por- 8-km or 5-mi radius, or other better defined limita-

e tion of a topographic map. An expanded discussion of


the sources of existing information appears in Section
3.7.
tions) geologic detail. The other very important as-
pects of the field reconnaissance are to discover fatal
flaw information which would limit siting or raise

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AASHTO T I T L E M S I 8 W 0639804 OOL1ih5L 05Y W

Manual on Subsugace Investigations

construction costs to an unacceptable level and to held between the geologists assigned to drilling rigs
determine the nature and accessibiiity of required and other excavating equipment and the mapping
subsurface explorations. The final results of field re- geological team. Both teams should come away from
connaissance are: the meetings with improved field plans.

Compiation of a preiiminary geologic map of


3.5.7 Geophysical Surveys
estimated geologic conditions over the entire
area of interest;
A scope of estimated field exploration activities Most geophysical techniques (Section 6 ) are em-
ployed on a linear basis and are anchored between or
and their locations
A means for conducting a briefing on geologic through outcrops or subsurface investigations in or-
der to have a basis for interpreting the geophysical
conditions for the pIanning/design/environmen-
data. Most geophysical techniques require at least a
tal impact team
hypothetical geological cross section, some physical
property estimates, and an idea on the existence and
3.5.5 Field Geologic Mapping
depth to groundwater. Ideally, geophysical surveys
should be initiated after the drilling program is about
While the subsurface investigation equipment and
personnel are being readied, field geologic mapping 25 percent complete. Later investigations may be re-
quired at locations on geophysical traverses that are
(See Section 4 for details) can begin to answer the
requirements identified during the field reconnais- open to question during interpretation of field results.
sance stage and those which have developed out of
meetings with the planningdesigdenvironmentalim- 3.5.8 Hydrogeological Surveys
pact team. Since all that is required by the geotechni-
cal team is an appropriate topographic basemap and Traditionally, geotechnical engineers have been con-
aerial photographs, this work can generally be started cerned about the presence and depth of groundwater
within days of establishing the project team guidance; in terms of its effect on construction conditions and its
seasonal weather conditions permitting. In areas of control over shear strength of soil and rock masses.
appreciable surficial soil overburden, the geologists These concerns are still with us, especially in regions
assigned to mapping will probably also utilize the characterized by relatively near-surface groundwater.
backhoe to augment visual inspections. Backhoe pits With increased attention of the public and regulatory
are placed (see Section 4.5)at critical structural foun- agencies toward environmental impact, hydro-
dation locations, in areas at which rock is to be ex- geological surveys have taken on a new importance,
posed for detailed structural mapping, and in as well as the location and definition of groundwater
locations at which the nature of surficial geologic con- resources as they may be impacted by construction
tacts are obscure and are needed to enhance the and operation of transportation systems. However,
quality of surficial geologic mapping. The rate at hydrogeological data necessary for design and con-
which geologic maps can be produced is directly re- struction generally suffices for environmenta1 pur-
lated to the level of detail and complexity of local poses. Frequently, the area of potential environmen-
geology. The geologic maps should be reviewed by the tal impact of the system on groundwater is often
author and the field geologic supervisor each after- broader than that of geotechnical concern.
noon or evening, contacts inked, symbols checked Geotechnical workers often use two related profes-
and pencil coloring applied to insure correctness of sional specialty terms, hydrogeology and geohydrol-
overall map relationships. ogy in a synonymous sense, but they actualIy are two
distinct specialities. Hydrogeology represents the ex-
3.5.6 Subsurface Explorations pertise necessary to locate and define the presence
and dynamics of general groundwater movement;
Drilling, probing, and trenching should be under- geohydrology represents the more quantitative at-
taken only on the basis of a formalized plan. The plan tempts to model or predict the occurrence and move-
should be based on geologic interpretations gathered ment of groundwater on the basis of physical parame-
to the time of initiation of field work and should be ters developed by hydrogeologists. The fields of
reviewed and updated according to findings during hydrogeology and geohydrology are staffed with pro-
field geologic mapping and as a result of the subsur- fessionals of a variety of backgrounds, generally in
face investigation program itself. geology and civil engineering. However, most
Subsurface investigations should be reviewed on a groundwater studies performed in the course of sub-
daily basis by the field supervisor and brief discussions surface investigations are probably more related to

22
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Conduct of Investigations

geotechnical and environmental uses and are prop- mens are made available and can be transported to

e erly termed hydrogeological studies.

3.5.9 Materials Surveys


the laboratory. Results should be processed and re-
viewed quickly and turned over to the office geo-
technical staff for daily incorporation and review
against boring logs and geologic maps. In locations in
Construction materials are most valuable when they which the groundwater is high in total dissolved
are located and made available within the construc- solids, especially in cases of brackish water, the speci-
tion site or ROW. The field reconnaissance and pre- mens should be tested immediately in light of ongoing
liminary subsurface investigation should establish the corrosion of the liner and cation exchanges present
general presence and quality of these materials. Most between soiYrock and liner; all of which tend to alter
materials survey work in the site area can be accom- the engineering properties of the earth material.
plished at the time of the field investigation and prob-
ably should be phased to follow the previously men- 3.5.12 Special Requirements
tioned activities. The subject of materials surveying is
covered in Section 4.4. Many transportation systems involve structures of rel-
atively large size in terms of the soilhock-structural
3.5.10 Field Testing interaction, environmental impact, and susceptability
to geologic constraints. Results of the field reconnais-
As in other subsurface activities, field tests are fre- sance should have identified the possibility of natural
quently scheduled for performance in otherwise open conditions which may elevate project costs signifi-
borings and test pits. Field tests are conducted to cantly or which may tend to make the project appear
determine the in situ strength, deformation, and per- environmentally unacceptable. Actions shouId be
meability characteristics of key foundation soil or taken during all field investigations to quantify these
rock units. Since many field tests require the presence potentially negative aspects of siting and design and
of a drilling rig, the tests should be scheduled as an to provide insights or methods toward their mitiga-
integral part of the drilling program so as to avoid tion. Most of the actions involve detailed geologic
unnecessary remobilization of equipment. mapping ,specialized geophysical surveying, and un-
usual or more detailed field and laboratory testing.
3.5.11 Laboratory Testing These requirements, most of which are represented
by methods and techniques discussed in the Manual,
Laboratory testing is conducted to identify and corre- should be programmed and undertaken during the
late various soil or rock units and to determine their field investigation.
engineering properties. Most laboratory testing is un-
dertaken on samples identified as being within the 3.5.13 Photography
greatest zone of influence of foundation stresses, and
for units which are felt to be so deformable as to Photographs of the work in progress should be consid-
govern foundation design at specific locations. ered as a standard requirement for all subsurface
Many geotechnical staffs have operating pro- investigations. The photography should be of a rea-
cedures for identification and selection of samples for sonably high quality and the agency should consider
testing. One such favored method is to have drive purchase of severa1 medium-quality 35-mm cameras
samples or undisturbed piston samples arranged in and provide basicinstruction in their use to geotechni-
order of sequence per boring and for a geotechnical cal personnel. As with other forms of permanent
engineer to view the exposed ends of each sample records, the photographs or color transparencies
while reviewing the borehole log of the particuiar should be annotated with project number, stationing,
boring. Many geotechnical engineers prefer to use the date, and brief title. For conditions which may be
torsional vane shear device or to simply make a thumb difficult to describe, the use of stereoscopicphotogra-
impression on the exposed tube or liner surface of the phy as printed and included in the final report will be
soil sample, to estimate soil bearing capacity and to of use to many who use that document. Stereoscopic
enter this rough approximation on the boring log. pairs may be made by focusing the camera on a center
Then, in overview, the most critical samples, repre- object, making one exposure, then stepping several
senting foundation grades and other bearing surfaces steps to one side, focusing on the same center object
are judged against estimated bearing capacity, and a and taking another exposure. The pair, when printed,
selection of test samples and laboratory tests allo- should be trimmed so that the right-hand image is
0 cated against the budgeted scope.
Laboratory testing should begin as soon as speci-
about 63 mm (2.5 inches) wide and spaced so that the
left side of that image is spaced at about 63 mm (2.5

23
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AASHTO T I T L E ! S I 88 927

Manual on Subsurface Investigations

inches) from identical objects in the left-hand view. Determination of perched water bodies and/or
Test the pair for orientation using a pocket stereo- potentiometric groundwater surface
scope, adhere the pair to a backing sheet, separate Identification of engineering-significant soill
the pair by thin white tape and have a master photo- rock units
graph made of the stereogram. Care should be taken Determination of a sufficient number of prop-
so as not to reverse the order of images and to produce erty tests to provide for reasonable design pa-
a pseudo-stereoscopic image in which objects at rameters
depth (distance) appear to be artificially closer to the Identification of top-of-rock
viewer. Accurate recording of standard rock quality in-
dicators
Measurement of attitudes and other features of
various structural discontinuities
3.6 REPORTS AND DRAWINGS Recognition of reasonably apparent evidence of
geologic hazards that could impact the project
All activities undertaken by geotechnical personnel
should be designed to provide data for specific use in
the final report and its drawings. Design personnel 3.7 SOURCES OF EXISTING DATA
should be tasked to provide adequate site and route
topography and existing governmental topographic 3.7.1 USGS Quadrangle Maps
maps should be used to provide the basis for enlarged
topographic coverage of the site area beyond the In the United States, the principal source of topo-
limits of actual construction. Topography and other graphic maps and geologic reports is the United
cultural details should be photographically screened States Geological Survey. These maps are available in
so that geological and geotechnical details stand out various scales, the most common is the 7.5 or 15
and apart from that background. minute quadrangle. The appropriate quadrangle for
The degree to which geotechnical data are devel- the project may be located by reference to the state
oped should be established with design personnel and index map available from the USGS. Local vendors of
the report language should be carefully chosen to maps are also listed on the index, as well as, deposit
avoid creation of impressions of conditions other than libraries.
actually observed. Remarks concerning the absolute Briefly, a topographic map is one that shows the
nature of existing or anticipated construction-related size, shape and distribution of features on the earths
conditions should be avoided. That is, language that surface through the use of contour lines. A contour
makes an absolute case for a specific condition is line connects points of equal elevation above or below
generally not warranted on the basis of the very lim- a stated datum plane. The contour interval is the
ited nature of most geological or geotechnical obser- difference in elevation between two adjacent lines, it
vations and the extreme heterogeneity that is usually is stated in the map legend. The interpretation of
found in earth materials. topography is a basic skill necessary for the interpre-
A general philosophy for establishing the scope of a tation of any geologic map.
subsurface exploration program is as follows: A site may be located by longitude and latitude, or
By spending project funds, through its geological/ proximity to bodies of water, topographic feature,
geotechnical staff, the Agency hopes to procure an numbered highways, population centers, or any other
accurate and reasonably complete subsurface data landmark. The unit of mapping is called a quad-
package for use in design and as the basis for bidding rangle. In the United States, it is generally available
by contractors. In spending agency money, geologists as a 7.5 degree or 15 degree sheet, each sheet being
and geotechnical engineers have two primary goals, bounded by 7.5 degree of latitude and longitude or 15
to provide: degree of latitude and longitude, respectively. The
scale on 7.5 degree maps is generally 1:24,000or one
Data to produce a suitable and cost-effective inch on the map represents 2000 feet. In addition to
design the stated ratio, there is also a bar graph printed on
Data clear and concise enough to lead to a nar- the map that may be measured with a scale and used
row spread of construction bids not containing to determine distances.
large-risk dollar contingencies Longitude lines converge toward the north pole, so
the actual area covered by the map is greater in the
The list of data elements likely required for even south (about 70 square miles) than near the Canadian
major construction projects is generally not long: border (about 50 square miles). Originally, USGS

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Conduct of Investigations

mapping used a 15 degree minute quad, many of These show bedrock and soil conditions, superim-

e whch stili exist and which have a scale of 1:62,500 or


one inch equals approximately one mile. A 15 degree
quadrangle includes the area of four 7.5 degree quad-
posed on the basic quadrangle map described in sec-
tion 3.7.1. The data shown may include depth to rock;
locations of rock outcrops; estimated thickness, com-
rangles. position and engineering properties of the various soil
Quadrangle maps are updated or revised peri- types, geologic history and groundwater.
odically. Changes interpreted %.om current aerial Inquiries concerning the availability and purchase
photos are overprinted in purple on the original map. of these maps should be made to the nearest regional
No field investigation is usually conducted. The map office of the USGS.
then carries both the original date and the date of the
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Many other types of maps (thematic maps) are also


latest photo revision (e.g., 1959-63). If a complete produced by the USGS. These include; land use and
revision has been undertaken, the map date reflects land cover maps of quadrangles or regions, hydrologic
that investigation. maps, landslide maps, maps produced as part of pro-
Interim maps cailed orthophotoquads are available fessional papers and bulletins, geologic folios, water
prior to a complete revision. An orthophotoquad can supply papers which often have maps and cross sec-
be described as a mosaic of monocolor aerial photos tions, aeromagnetic maps, slope maps, mineral re-
corrected for displacement of tilt and relief with little source investigation maps, and oil and gas investiga-
or no cartographic treatment; usually there are no tion maps. A particularly interesting series for those
contours or elevations. Information on available maps working in the area is the Engineering Geology of the
or the status of mapping may be obtained from the Northeast Corridor, Washington, DC to Boston,
USGS National Cartographic Information Center lo- Massachusetts. (I-514,A,BYC)All of the above illus-
cated in Reston, Virginia, or from the various map- trate some facet of the geology of a particular region.
ping center offices. The survey also produces geologic map indices for
Older editions of topographic maps can provide the various states which list ali of the maps for a
information regarding pre-existing conditions such as particular location, identifiable by latitude and longi-
stream courses, ponds and drainage patterns which tude regardless of source (USGS, state survey, jour-
mav have been affected bv man-made structures as nal, article, etc.). Each of the above documents pro-
e Wei as filling and grading resulting in topographic and
hydrologic change.
The accuracy of any given map is dependent upon
duces a map which represents graphically the specific
information desired or necessary for that report.
There is no standard date base. The absence of a
the quality of the information from which it was de- particular type of information only indicates that it
rived and the care with which it was drawn. There are was not significant (or investigated) for that particular
USGS standards for vertical and horizontal accuracy report.
for topographic maps. For horizontal accuracy, no In addition to the USGS, there are several other
more than 10 percent of the well defined map points federal sources of maps as weil as state, local, aca-
tested, shall be more than 1/50 inch (0.5 mm) out of demic, and commercial. These sources include
the correct position at publication scales of 1:20,000 NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin-
or smaller. This tolerance corresponds to 40 feet on istration) which produces climatological and naviga-
the ground for a 1:24,000 scale map and about 100 tional maps. The Office of Surface Mining of the
feet on the ground for 1:62,500 scale map. The stan- Bureau of Land Management can provide informa-
dards for vertical accuracy require that no more than tion on surface/strip mining both active and aban-
10percent of the deviations of test points interpolated doned in a particular area. This information can be
from contours shall be in error more than half the very critical for foundation design or waste disposal.
contour interval. The U.S. Forest Service can provide considerable
Quadrangle maps may be altered photographically, information regarding land in its custody; the Na-
enlarged, reduced or screened. However, it should be tional Park Service has the same type of information.
recognized that enlarging the scale does not improve
the accuracy or increase the detail. It is, however, 3.7.3 Soil Survey Maps
perfectly acceptable to use an enlarged quadrangle
map as a base or site plan. Soil surveys have been produced as a cooperative
effort in the United States since 1899. The majority of
3.7.2 Bedrock and Surficial Geology Maps these surveys have been compiled under the direction
of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in
@ Two of the most useful types of maps published by the
USGS are the surficial and bedrock geology series.
cooperation with the Land Grant Colleges. Soil sur-
veys include maps that depict the distribution of agri-

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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

cultural-type soil bodies. The agricultural soils are A group of soils having the same range in color,
formed in the uppermost layers of unconsolidated the same character of subsoil, particularly as re-
materials (engineering soil units). The maps are ac- gards color and structure, broadly the same type
companied by a narrative description of the soils and of relief and drainage, and a common or similar
interpretive tables that give the physical and chemical origin.
characteristics and the agricultural and engineering
In 1955, work began on a soil classification system
aspects of each of the soil units. As of 1979,there were
approximately 1200 U.S. counties represented by soil that would have more precise categories to enable
surveys to meet the current needs of users. Many more quantitative and reliable interpretation of soil
states, as part of the cooperative soil mapping pro- surveys. This resulted in Soil Taxonomy (USDA,
SCS, 1975, Agriculture Handbook No. 435). Proper-
gram between the USDA and Land Grant colleges,
have also produced a single Soil-Associationmap of ties used to define classes in Soil Taxonomy have
precise quantifiable limits and are generally proper-
the state, generally at a scale of 1:750,000. Georgia is
such an example (Perkins and Morris, 1977). ties that influence use and management. From 1951
through 1965, soil taxonomy was refined, resulting in
Soil survey reports and maps represent the third
what is known as the 7th Approximation with its six
most useful source of existing informationfor highway
design, following U.S, Geological Survey topographic categories:
maps and the various types of geologic maps in degree
of usefulness. The usefulness of soil surveys varies 1. Order
greatly with the nature of the engineering project, 2. Suborder
with the age of the soil survey, with the expertise of 3. Great Group
the mapper, and especially with the background and 4. Subgroup
experience of the user. Most of the information con- 5. Family
tained in soil surveys must be interpreted for engi- 6. Series
neering purposes despite the fact that the more recent
surveys provide a variety of standard geotechnical The series is the lowest category in the system and, as
information. such, provides the most site-related information of
The crucial point of understanding regarding soil geotechnicalimportance. The use of soil series data of
surveys is that generally the standard unit mapped is any age can be useful in the exploration and design of
named for a soil series. The unit mapped represents highways.
an area on the landscape made up mostly of the soil or
soils for which the unit is named. Most map units 3.7.3.2 Soil Survey Mapping Philosophy. Soil sur-
include small, scattered areas of soils other than those vey maps are the product of an attempt to depict the
that appear in the name of the map unit. Some of areal coverage of parcels of soil with a similar, average
these soils have properties that differ substantially solum or soil profile to about 2 m of depth. The maps
from those of the dominant soil and thus could signifi- are compiled first by photointerpretation techniques
cantly affect engineering use of the map unit. These and are then field checked by foot traverse, and ob-
soils are described in the descriptionof each map unit. servations of road cuts, exploratory auger cuttings,
More than 12,000 soil series have been identified in and test pits. Aerial photographs are used as the map
the U.S. (McCormack and Flach, 1977). base. The soil scientist preparing the map looks ini-
tially for surface-visible indictionsof the nature of the
3.7.3.1 Development of Soil Surveys in the U.S. underlying soil solum. These indicators are landform,
From 1899 to 1938, county soil survey maps were slope, vegetation type, surface water or moisture, and
compiled on a basis very similar to Quaternary or geomorphic position. Photointerpretation techniques
surficial geologic mapping. Many of the maps were aid the mapper in determining soil boundaries.
compiled by geologists and a tradition of association Nearly all SCS soil survey mapping is now printed at
of the soil series with parent geologic materials was scales ranging from 1:15,840to 1:24,000, with much
established. Most of the maps were produced at a of the mapping being performed at 1:20,000. County
scale of 1:62,500 and were printed in color. Soils were surveys also contain useful summary soil maps at
classified using soil series to represent the central scales equal to or small than 1:62,500.
concept for each soil. Class limits were poorly de- Map units on most soil maps are named for phases
fined. Each soil series was named for the geographic of soil series. Soils that have profiles that are almost
location at which it was first described and the map- alike make up a soil series. Except for allowable dif-
ping generally followed Marbuts 1913descriptionof a ferences in texture of the surface layer, all the soils of a
soil series (USDA, SCS, 1964): series have major horizons that are similar in compo-

26 --`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

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Conduct of Investigations

sition, thickness, and arrangement. Soils of one series of grossly categorizing each map parcel into broad
0 can differ in texture of the surface layer or in the
underlying substratum and in slope erosion, stoniness
quantitative engineering categories, such as:

or other characteristics that affect their use. On the Cohesionless vs. cohesive
basis of such differences, a soil series is divided into Plastic vs. non-plastic
phases. The name of a soil phase commonly indicates High permeability vs. law permeability
a feature that affects its engineering use or mange- Dense vs. loose
ment. Phase designation will allow for geologic inter- Hard vs. soft
pretation of the parcels into different surficial geo- Wet vs. dry
logic units. Easy to excavate vs. hard to excavate
In most cases, soil survey mappingwillsubdivide an
area into more detail than a corresponding geologic The most confusing aspect of conversion of soil survey
map of the same area, and the geologist or geotechni- data to engineering usage is that of loam. Loam is
cal engineer will be faced with the prospect of lump- essentially a cohesive soil of intrinsic value for agri-
ing or combining soil series or phase parcels into cultural purposes. The term itself is meaningless for
surficial units of interest to engineering design engineering purposes and should be translated ac-
studies. cording to the scheme of Handy and Fenton (1977),
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

with verification coming from grain-size analyses.


3.7.3.3 Conversion of Soil Survey Classifications.
In order to make full use of soil maps with map units 3.7.3.4 Engineering Data from Soil Surveys.
comprised of soil phases, the geotechnical engineer or USDA soil surveys prepared after 1965 generally pre-
geologist must review the physical description and sent a considerable amount of engineering property
textural classification of the soil map unit. The domi- data collected at identified locations for single soil
nant horizons of each series is given a textural classi- series. These data are related to specific depths in the
fication. The textural terms used are defined using a solum or are keyed to major soil horizons of the
textural triangle. Of more help to the engineer is the solum. As with conversion of geologic map data for
particle size and mineralogical class given for the fam- engineering purposes, soil survey data can be used to
0 ily of which the series is a part. Data for these classes
are averaged and given for the subsoil as a whole.
obtain a relative appreciation of average engineering
properties. Some soil survey data represent egineer-
Conversion of the USDA texture and particle size ing property determinations that are developed by
classification to engineering classifications can be the SCS on the general engineering characteristics of
aided by comparison with textural triangles relating soil series within individual counties. Other engineer-
percentages of sand, silt and clay to each established ing property data are provided by State DOTS and
soil type. Figures were prepared by Handy and Fen- other organizations. Among the engineering data that
ton (1977) as an aid to this conversion. Use of these are commonly provided in modern County Soil Sur-
diagrams gives an idea of the composition of each soil veys are:
series, and the interpreter should bear in mind the
changes in the system with each modification. The 9 Seasonal moisture content
soils of modern soil surveys have been classified ac- Density
cording to the AASHTO and USCS schemes elim- Texture; refers to the (- ) 2mm fraction; terms
inating the need for this conversion. such as fine silty, etc.
To convert soil series mapping further for engineer- Percent coarse fragments greater than 3 inches
ing purposes, one may use the textural triangle devel- Percent organic matter
oped by the US Army Engineer Waterways Experi- Atterberg limits
ment Station which is keyed to the 1940-1965 period Clay mineral type
surveys. For further comparison of soil survey unit Reaction (pH)
properties with those of the AASHTO and USCS
schemes, Handy and Fenton (1977) have developed The Michigan Department of State Highways and
additional triangles relating sand content to Atter- Transportation has been cataloging the engineering
berg limits and a triangle depicting the size-content properties of standard SCS soilseries for more than 30
basis for the AASHTO classification. years. Programs have subsequently been initiated in
In ali of these schemes for conversion of properties, South Dakota (Crawford and Thomas, 1973), Ohio
0 one must bear in mind that design-related geotechni-
cal data will never be generated by interpretation.
(Johnson, 1973), and Wisconsin (Alemeier, 1974).
The Wisconsin system carries the average soil series
The conversions are appropriate only for the ~ U K ~ C I S ~properties in looseleaf handbook form relating up-

21
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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

dated series properties for an average solum, along extent of office research is determined by the scope of
with what may be generally expected for the series in the project and the ease of acquiring information.
various Wisconsin locations. The agency or consulting firm itself may have con-
siderable information in-house as the result of pre-
3.7.3.5 General Use of Soil Survey Data. Soil sur- vious investigations of the same or an adjacent site.
vey data are most useful in the preliminary planning Not only completed projects but those that were pro-
stages of the project, The data should be used to posed but not completed should be consulted.
consider the relative cost and suitability impacts of Remote sensing or photointerpretation is discussed
alternative routes and to plan the general nature of in Section 4.0. A minimal level of effort of photoin-
the subsurface explorations that will follow. The gen- terpretation is appropriate for a small site, however a
eral estimates of conditions in the various soil parcels right-of-way for several miles of highway would merit
of mapped areas are as follows: a thorough complete photointerpretation.
Finally, one of the most elusive sources of informa-
General suitabilityhnsuitability tion yet one which may be extremely valuable is the
Depth range to bedrock personal communication. Stated simply, it is a few
Groundwater conditions telephone calls either to other geologists, geotechni-
* General slope stability cal engineers, government officials or anyone else
Erosion susceptability familiar with the site to find out what they may know
Excavation characteristics about it. Obviously, information gathered casually,
Frost susceptability must be verified carefully.
Heave or collapse potential
Potential borrow areas
Degree of uniformity or complexity of soil con-
ditions 3.8 REFERENCES

Soil Survey maps are also excellent sources of project- Allemeier, K. A. Application of Pedological Soil
ing data beyond the normally-mapped right-of-way, Surveys to Highway Engineering in Michigan. In
especially in locating borrow materials and esti- Non-Agricultural Application of Soil Surveys, pp.
mating environmental impact such as surface and 87-98. Edited by R. W. Simmonson. Elsevier, New
culvert erosion and related sedimentation. York, 1974.
Arnold, R. W, Soil Engineers and the New Pe-
3.7.4 Other Sources of Information dological Taxonomy. Highway Research Board Re-
cord, No. 426, pp. 50-54, 1973.
Other sources of geologic maps are the individual Baldwin, M.; Kellogg, C. E.; and Thorp, J. Soil
state geologic surveys, state DOTS, municipal high- Classification. In Soils and Men; Yearbook of Agri-
way or public works departments, regional authorities culture, pp. 997-1001. Washington, D.C.: U S . Govt.
such as River Basin Commissions, Turnpike authori- Print. Office, 1938.
ties, and airport commissions. Professional society
proceedings and journals, academic departments, Belcher, D. J. et al., Map-Origin and Distribution
and various specialty organizations can often provide of United States Soils. The Technical Development
information of use. Much of the above information Service, Civil Aeronautics Administration, and the
may be in manuscript, that is, unpublished. Engineering Experiment Station, Purdue University,
The type of information produced by the state geo- Lafayette, Ind. , 1946.
logic surveys will be similar to that of the USGS. Cain, J. M.and Beatty, M.T. The Use of Soil Maps
Individual surveys have their particular specialties, as in the Delineation of Flood Plains. Water Resources
well as level of activity. Fairly often the state geologic Research Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1968.
survey may be part of the environmental mangement Cline, M. G. Basic Principles of Soil Classification.
group or located in the state university. Boring logs Soil Science, Vol. 67, pp. 81-91, 1949.
for water wells are often archived by state surveys.
Rock core collections are also sometimes retained. Crawford, R. A. and Thomas, J. B. Computerized
Local historical societies, historical commissions, Soil Test Data for Highway Design. HRB, Highway
libraries, and tax assessors departments may also be Research Record 426, pp. 7-13, 1973.
a source of maps or reports, particularly old atlases Felt, E. J. Soil Series as a Basis for Interpretive Soil
whch illustrate pre-existing uses of the site. The type Classifications for Engineering Purposes. In Sympo-
of information of interest in an urban site is quite sium on Identification and Classification of Soils, pp.
different from that of a rural site. Obviously, the 62-84. ASTM Spec. Tech. Pub. 113,1950.
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28
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AASHTO T I T L E M S I = Ob39804 CIOLL658 409 =
Conduct of Investigations

Handy, R. L. and Fenton, T. E.Particle Size and Petersen, G. E. Construction Materials Inventory,
Mineralogy in Soil Taxonomy. In Soil Taxonomy Neosho County, Kansas. Kansas Dept. of Trans.,
and Soil Properties: Trans. Res. Record No. 642, Topeka, Report No. 33, 1978.
Trans. Res. Board, Washington, D.C., pp. 13-19, Phiiipson, W. R.; Arnold, R. W.; and Sangrey, D. A.
1977. Engineering Values from Soil Taxonomy, Highway
Johnson, G, O. Compiling Preliminary Foundation Research Board Record No. 426, pp. 39-49, 1973.
Data From Existing Information on Soils and Geol- Sauer, E. K. A Field Guide and Reference Manual
ogy. Transportation Research Record 426, pp. 1-6, for Site Exploration in Southern Saskatchewan. Re-
1973. gina, Canada: Saskatchewan Highways and Trans-
Legget, R. F. and Burn, K. N. Archival Material poration, 1987.
and Site InvestigationsCanadian GeotechnicalJour- Scherocman, J. A. and Sinclair, H. R., Jr. Use of
nal, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 483-490, National Research Soil Surveys for Planning and Designing Low Volume
Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, 1985. Roads. 2nd Int. Conf., Low-Volume Roads; Ames,
Lovell, C. W. and Lo, Y. K. T. Experience With a Iowa, Proc., 1978.
State-Wide Geotechnical Data Bank, Purdue Uni- Simonson, R. W. Soil Classification in the United
versity, Woodward-Clyde Consultants, TwentiethAn- States. Science, Vol. 137, pp. 1027-1034, 1962.
nual Engineering Geology and Soils Engineering
Symposium Proceedings, Boise Idaho, pp. 193-203, Soil Conservation Service, Soil Classification: A
Idaho Department of Highways, Boise, Idaho. 1983. Comprehensive System (7th Approximation). U.S.
Government Printing Office, Washington, D .C.,
Maryland State Highway Administration, Office of 1960; and 1967, 1968, and 1970 Supplements.
Bridge Development, Foundation Evaluation,
D-T9-17 (4), Policy and Procedure Manual, Bal- Soil Conservation Service, USDA. New Soil Classi-
timore, Maryland, 1979. fication. Soil Conservation, Vol. 30, No. 5 , Decem-
ber 1964.
Maryland State Highway Administration, Office of
Soil Conservation Service, USDA, Soil Survey Lab-
Bridge Development, Foundation Bearing Values,
oratory Methods and Procedures for Collecting Soil
D-79-18 (4), Policy and Procedure Manual, Bal-
Samples. Soil Survey Investigation Report No. 1,
timore, Maryland, 1979.
Washington, D.C., April 1972.
Maryland State Highway Administration, Office of
Soil Conservation Service, USDA. Soil Survey of
Bridge Development, Substructure Units-Design
Ellis County, Texas. Washington, D.C., 1974.
for Future Deck Replacement, D-79-19 (4), Policy
and Procedure Manual, Baltimore, Maryland, 1978. Soil Conservation Service, USDA. Soil Taxonomy:A
Basic System of Soil Classification for Making and
McCormack, D. E. and Flach, K. W. Soil Series and
Soil Taxonomy. Trans. Res. Record No. 642, Trans. Interpreting Soil Surveys. Handbook 436, U.S. Gov-
ernment Printing Office, 1975.
Res. Board, Natl Acad. of Sci., Wash., In Soil Taxon-
omy and Soil Properties, 1977. Specifications For Subsurface Investigations , Ohio
McCormack, D. E. and Fohs, D. G. Planning for Department of Transportation, Columbus, Ohio,
1984.
Transportation Systems and Utility Corridors. In
Planning the Uses and Management of Land. Beatty, U.S. Army, The Unified Soil Classification Sys-
et al. (Ed.), Amer. Soc. Agron, Madison, Wisconsin, tem. Corps. of Engineers Technical Memorandum
pp. 531-553, 1979. 3-357, 1960.
Mitchell M. J. Soil Survey of Columbia County, U.S. National Committees/Tunnelling Technology,
Wisconsin: U.S. Soil Conservation Service, Wash- Geotechnical Site Investigations For Underground
ington, D.C., with photomosaic maps, 1978. Projects, Volume 1: Overview of Practice and Legal
National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Issues, Evaluation of Cases, Conclusions and Recom-
Acquisition and Use of Geotechnical Information. mendations. Volume 2: Abstracts of Case Histories
Syntheses of Highway Practice 33, Washington, D.C. and Computer-Based Data Management System,
pp. 20, 1976. U.S. National CommitteesRunnelling Technology,
Washington, D.C. 1984.
Perkins, H. F. andMorris, E. S. SoiZAssociations and
Land Use Potential of Georgia Soils. Georgia Agri- Wyoming Highway Department Engineering Geol-
@ cultural Experiment Station, University of Georgia,
Athens; 1:750,000.1, 1977.
ogy Procedures Manual 1983. Cheyenne, Wyoming:
Wyoming State Highway Department, 1983.

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A A S H T O T I T L E MSI 88 m Ob39OLl OOLLb59 345 m

4.0 FIELD MAPPING

Field geologic mapping is a means by which all subsur- obtain project-related physical data to shape the in-
face data are made useable for design engineers. The vestigations and design program.
engineering geologic map portrays the estimate of
conditions at any location in the site area or along the 4.2.1 Purpose
ROW. Field Mapping represents an interpretation of
observations by the engineering geologist or geo- Reconnaissance mapping should be undertaken as
technical engineer to produce a two-or-three dimen- the first step in gathering project-related subsurface
sional representation of the geologic fabric of the data. The techniques of reconnaissance mapping are
project area. This mapping is carried on at all scales the same for all geologic and geotechnical mapping;
and with variations in symbols and detail to answer careful observation and accurate graphical reporting
specific design needs. Y
of all pertinent information and observations. Recon-
naissance mapping involves limited foot traverses of
4.1 General the area of interest, using aerial photographs and
topographic maps as a data collection base. The goal
Field maps are a record of the observational coverage is to generate general classifications of material type,
of an area. The area of interest may be several kilo- landform characteristics, the nature of surficial geo-
metres of preliminary transportation routing, alter- logic and soil units, general groundwater conditions,
nate corridors for routing, the face of a rock quarry or and an assessment of geologic constraints.
gravel pit, the interior of a pilot bore or inspection
shaft for an underground transit station, or the site of 4.2.2 Levels of Effort
a roadway failure requiring immediate attention.
Maps are two-dimensional representations of the ex- Reconnaissance mapping should suit the needs of the
tent of units of earth materials of similar properties. A project and of the specific members of the design
variety of symbols are used to portray the nature of team. Prior to leaving for the field, the assigned staff
the materials, their discontinuities and other flaws, members should discuss the data needs of the individ-
and the presence of all manner and types of indicators ual who has requested the mapping. Mapping may be
of geologic phenomena (such as geologic constraints; accomplished on field-compiled sketch maps gener-
see Section 5) that affect transportation system de- ated by pace-and compass methods, by use of soft,
sign. Varnes (1974) has compiled a treatise on the colored pencils on matte-surfaced aerial photo-
development and philosophies of geologic mapping. graphs, by inked lines on rapid-development photo-
The techniques of various types of field mapping are graphs, or suitably enlarged topographic basemaps.
discussed in the present chapter.
4.2.3 Office Reconnaissance & Literature Search

4.2 RECONNAISSANCE MAPPING A thoughtful preparation of field work will remove


many time-consuming obstacles to efficient recon-
In the early stages of project planning and feasibility
e studies, the primary factors controlling cost and envi-
ronmental acceptability of projects are usually un-
naissance efforts. The project engineer should be
consulted as to the basic concept of routing, structure
design or alternate corridor locations. The individual
known. Reconnaissance mapping is the first step to in charge of the field party should study available

31
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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

topographic coverage to determine access and foot resulting engineering properties of the materials.
traverse conditions and then develop a concept of Therefore the project-related soil and rock stratigra-
conducting the reconnaissance. A group consultation phy usually results in a further amplification of exist-
with parties to the project is helpful. At this time the ing classical geologic studies.
reconnaissance party chief outlines his program for Foot traverses should be made next, to examine
conducting the field work, including the area(s) of outcrops and landforms located on office photo-
interest to the planning and design team. Once the geologic maps. A well-charted foot traverse should
area of coverage has been mutually agreed upon, the provide up to 25 percent of the data requirements of
reconnaissance party chief should continue to collect the project. The person(s) undertaking the foot tra-
accessory information for continued use in the office, verses should do so with the final objective of being
prior to entry into the field. (See Table .4-1). able to brief the project team about most of the key
Office review of all available materials (Section 3) issues concerning route location and geotechnical de-
will help to determine the level of reconnaissance sign. These objective assessments are listed in Table
effort and to identify key factors which should be 4-2, Fig. 4-1.
examined in the project effort.
4.2.5 Field Reconnaisance Report
4.2.4 Field Reconnaissance
The field reconnaissance report should define most of
A well planned field reconnaissance is needed to ver- the key planning and design issues and estimates of
ify the office reconnaissance. A field reconnaissance their effects on design and construction. The report
program should be undertaken only after the project should form the basis for the site investigation plan, its
team has a good concept of the main requirements of scheduling, its priorities, and its budget. At a mini-
the project and after the geotechnical personnel have mum, the report should include the following ele-
determined the apparent geological conditions in the ments (Table 4-3, Figure 4-2):
site area. The reconnaissance mapping should begin
by inspecting road cuts and drainage-courses and
bank exposures adjacent to roads. The main objec- 4.3 ENGINEERING GEOLOGIC
tives of these observations is to confirm the general MAPPING
types of soil and rock present in the site area. Almost
always, geological formations have distinct lithologic Engineering geological maps are constructed for the
characteristics and these generally control most of the purpose of identifying conditions which will affect the

Table 4-1.
First-Order Determinations from Non-Geologic Source Materials

--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---
Nongeologic source materials can be used to estimate the presence and nature of soil versus rock; cohesive versus
cohesionless soil; the general origin of soil units (e.g., windblown versus alluvial; beach versus fluvial, etc.)
Topographic Maps Landforms can be interpreted by slope angle, degree of planarity or
convexity/concavity, contour irregularity, and stream cross section
Agricultural Soil Maps Descriptions of soil associations generally provide an opinion as to the
parent material of the soil, often that material lying directly below the soil
solum
Aerial Photographs As discussed in Section 4.5, an excellent source of information; the
usefulness of photointerpretation is limited only by the quality and scale of
the photos and the skill of the interpreter.
Well-Drilling Logs Although these logs are extremely variable in quality, the basic
differentiation between cohesive and cohesionless soils and rock are almost
always obtainable; water levels at the time of drilling or well installation
should also be available.
Engineering Soils Maps Basic landforms are subdivided into units containing similar engineering
characteristics such as origin, soil texture, drainage, and slope. Several
States have prepared these maps on a statewide (New Jersey, Rhode
Island), county (Indiana, Illinois, Washington) or corridor basis (New
Mexico, Indiana, Maine). (See Mintzer, 1983).
Existing Borings Borings from previous investigations in study area or in close proximity can
be correlated to similar soil-terrain conditions in study area.

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Field Mapping

Table 4-2.
Key Exploration Factors Definable by Field Reconnaissance

Stratigraphy Definition of most of the soil and rock units that will be ultimately
encountered by sursurface exploration
Exploration Locations Definition of the approximate location and traces of drilling test pitting,
trenching and geophysical surveys; estimation of approximate depths
Accessibility Specification of approximate routes of access into each of the exploration
locations; determination of types of equipment necessary
Key Outcrops Definition of outcrops or exposures that warrant further investigation in
terms of structural geologic mapping or petrologic classification
Water An estimate of the general nature of groundwater and surface water regimes
in the site area; development of concepts for further investigations
Existing Slopes An assessment of the stability factors of major slope-forming geologic units
Material Sources A tentative estimate of the nature and general avaiiability of various
categories of aggregate and borrow materials
Geologic Constraints Identification of geologic conditions which may tend to adversely affect any
of a number of project development plans; devise methods of investigating
the degree of potential impact
Environmental Considerations Identification of potential impacts of the project on water, soil and rock in
the site area, based on the observed or presumed nature of each basic
material type, the existing topography and the preliminary project
development plan.

design, construction, maintenance and overall eco- contacts; and geophysical surveyresults into a compo-
nomics of the transportation system. They provide a site representation of the breadth and extent of each
means of combining outcrop geologic observations; geologic soil and rock unit that is identified at the
drillhole, test pit and trench logging; photogeologic ground surface in the site area.
These geologic maps are similar in many respects to
classical geologic maps, but differ essentially in their
adherence to identification of individual map units
strictly on the basis of observed engineering charac-

i
Table 4-3.
Elements of the Field Reconnaissance Report

A summary of the geologic framework of the site


area.
A stratigraphic listing of soil and rock units ex-
pected to be encountered in field explorations and
subsequent mapping as well as a draft geologic
map legend with tentative lithologic names and

-
%-O
SCALE
5 rnl1.i
map symbols.
A sketch reconnaissance map on site-area scale.
This scale is one level of scale smaller than the
ROW map that will be used in site or alignment
mapping.
Locations, numbers and depth ranges for recom-
a l i . iccluding Qtl. Qt2, Qt3. Qt4 acd a t 5
mended or suggested exploration activities; bore-
GENERALIZED GEOLOGIC holes, test pits, trenches, geophysical surveys, ob-
Tuff
MAP servation welk, etc.
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

Hilllgan and Yoo River fm. PROJECT F-2392(10)


Locations or areas requiring special attention in
Igimus Rocks Jci. C.H.-68- No. Kalchum field mapping or subsurface exploration.
Q Basic questions to be answered relating to ground-
a chailis vOICaIIiFS
Idaho hlthollth
BLAINE COUNTY
IDAHO water environmental concerns and geologic con-
Rilt
straints.
An opinion relating to the probability of locating
Figure 4-1. Reconnaissance Map (Courtesy Idaho and developing significant quantities of construc-
tion materials in the site area.
Division of Highways.)

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- - _--- -I--_

AASHTO T I T L E M S I 88 0639804. O O L L b b 2 93T

Manual on Subsurface Investigations


-
GEOLOGIC RECONNAISSANCE LOCATION (16-610) engineering geomorphological maps. Both tech-
niques recognize that the landform observed is the
--
16-611 General key to the nature and origin of the rock or soil mate-
Definition: The initial study made approxlmately five years before rial underlying the ground surface at that point, and
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

the confirmed project allgnment based on a geologic


reconnaissance of a selected corridor. that the lateral and vertical extent of the unit is indi-
Rewrt To: District Engineer
District Location Engineer
cated by the form and lateral boundaries of each
District Landscape Architect landform unit. Because of this relationship, most
Copies: Environmental Planning & Corridor Study
Materials Supervisor
mapping begins with photogeologic interpretation of
the right of way (ROW) photos obtained by the Pho-
Field Review: Attendance
District Materials Engineer) 1 of 2 required
togrammetric Department of the DOT, as well as
District Geologist )
Supervising Gwlogist ) required other standard photographic coverage of the region,
such as that of U.S. Department of Agriculture, or
16-612 Purpoce other governmental agencies. Individual DOT re-
The report provides estimating data for the District Location Engi- gions may have established the general geo-
neer end background data for the Environmental Impact Study Report. morphologicaland stratigraphic relations of the phys-
The report rovides information relative to one or mare lines withln the
corridor un& study. iographic regions in which they operate.
Prior to field mapping, it is desirable to establish an
16-613 Rewrt Composition informalproject-related mapping specificationnoting
The report will cover the following subject matter: the general symbols to be used and the rock types to
16-613.1 Introduction be expected. The symbols and units can be modified
_ _Conclusions
16-613.2
- _ or extended on the basis of observations made during
16-613.3
- Evaluations
___ mapping, but uniformity of Agency mapping will be
1. General Geology maintained.
A. Stratigraphy The general procedure for engineering geological
B. Topography mapping is as follows:
C. Coils P Vegetation
1. Using aerial photographs or other remote im-
2. Drainage
ages;
3. Groundwater
a) identify separate landforms
4. Geologic Hazards
A. Existing and Potential Landslldes b) define the area of individual bodies of var-
B. Slope Stability ious surficial geologic units
C. Fault Influence c) assign tentative origin and physical prop-
D. Joint Systems
E. Flood Plain Deposition and Influence
erties to each geologic unit
F. Seismic Rlsk Assignment d) complete site-area photogeologic map
5. Construction e) plan for a field reconnaissance
(Example Report) 2. Conduct a field reconnaissance of outcrops and
road and drainage cuts.
Figure 4-2. Outline of Geologic Reconnaissance
Reports prepared by the Idaho a) devise a list of expected engineering soil
Division of Highways. and rock units and symbols for continued
field mapping
teristics. The characteristicsused to differentiate map b) select key locations for briefing of the field
units are those visually-apparent during mapping: mapping team
hardness, degree of weathering and alteration, basic c) plan for the priorities of mapping; tra-
lithology, grain size, color, and degree of induration. verses and key locations for inspection
Other characteristicsrelated to rock mass properties, d) develop a tentative subsurface exploration
such as nature, continuity and frequency of discon- plan
tinuities should be considered when identiying sepa- 3. Conduct the engineering geologic mapping of
rate geologic units. Although the basis for map unit the ROW and the site area
definition is strictly one of engineering character, the a) locate outcrops and define areas at which
rock or soil is described according to established geo- each engineering soil or rock unit is de-
logical and engineering terms with the use of correct scribed as being representative
geological terms relating to the makeup or lithology of b) review the ROW geologic map and revise
the rock. the exploration plan to inspect key high-
Tho main types of surficial maps represent the way structural sites and locations believed
state-of-the art engineering geological mapping for to be important to the geologic and geo-
transportation systems: engineering unit maps and technical interpretation

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Field Mapping

4. Conduct the field exploration plan, relying on hand, such as bridge foundations and a variety of
drill rigs for observations at depth in areas of remedial treatments of natural damage. Often the
primary emphasis (bridge, piers and abut- site is so restricted as tu be without significant topo-
ments, major cuts and fills, bodies of poor graphic relief or it must be covered at' a scale far larger
quality rock or soil, etc.) than existing topography. Judgments must be made as
a) log the explorations, relate the observa- to the level of detail that is required to formulate the
tions to the geologic map units design of remedial treatment necessary at the site.
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

b) modify geologic contacts to reflect find- If specific design recommendations and quantities
ings of borings and test pits and trenches are not required, a geologic summary can often be
c) determine the need for additional explora- made on the basis of a Polaroid-type photograph
tions including geophysics, to refine map- backed up with a finer resolution panchromatic or
ping in areas of question color negative to be developed and printed later. The
d) conduct these support explorations instantly-developing photograph can be used for an-
e) revise the geologic mapping notation of field notes.
Wherever field geotechnical recommendationsare
4.3.1 Project Area Geologic Maps to be developed for immediate remedial action, a
more accurate portrayal of site geometry is usually
About the smallest scale of geologic mapping that will required. In the event that appropriate topographic
be appropriate for transportation system work will be maps or formal survey assistance are not available, a
that prepared for routes. The map should be at a scale surprising amount of detail and accuracy can be
small enough to show the interrelationships of geo- achieved using a geological compass (Brunton) and
logic units over a wide enough band or strip to offer stadia rod. However, planetable and alidade map-
some degree of routing choice. Project area geologic ping, or more precise mapping by terrestrial photo-
maps are usually constructed along a rather narrow grammetry,may also be required if a structure is to be
strip of land, just wide enough to contain the road- installed and stability considerations are apparent.
way, cuts, fills, and the adjacent areas to be impacted
by construction. The mapped strip should also be
0 wide enough to contain some prospects for aggregate
and borrow locations. The average scale for route
4.3.4 Other Special Geologic Maps

Most special geoIogic maps produced for transporta-


maps is about 1:6000. tion projects are nonrepetitive in nature. Some maps,
such as those compiled for evaluation of off-ROW
4.3.2 ROW Geologic Maps borrow and aggregate sites, consist mainly of plan-
imetric sketches or simpb geologic maps developed in
Geologic maps of the alignment of roads and raii lines enlarged USGS topographic basemaps or enlarged
are essential to development of slope stability assess- aerial photographs. The main objective of materials
ments, bearing capacity, roadbed settlement comput- survey maps is to estimate the areal extent, depth,
ation, rock excavation plans, control of groundwater, and volume of recoverable materials of certain speci-
location and qualification of borrow and aggregate fications.
sources, and a number of other critical design-related Segments of the ROW that may encounter severe
judgments. ROW geologic maps are generally pre- groundwater problems (drainage) or which must be
pared at about 1:600 scale, or at about ten times the considered for impact on abutter's wells will probably
detail of the site area geologic maps. Since ROW be analyzed with the assistance of observation wells so
maps are by nature much longer than wide, scales that the existing piezometric surface can be deter-
larger than about 1:600 become too cumbersomeand mined. In this case, the ROW geology is plotted,
the engineer using the data begins to lose the appre- along with the extend of the projected cuts and fills
ciation of geologic relationships along the ROW. Most and a before-construction and after-construction esti-
ROW geologic maps are not cluttered with detail mate is made of the level of groundwater, along with
because of the relatively low density of exploration the anticipated directions of flow and the equipoten-
locations, at this rather large scale. tials representing the piezometric surface (See Sec-
tion 8). The main objective is to predict the shadow-
4.3.3 Site Geologic Maps ing effect of road cuts on groundwater flow patterns
and to define the expected seepage conditions along
0 The methods of compiling site geologic maps are less
standardized than those prepared for routes. The site
the cut faces.
Metropolitan area transit authorities who are now
maps should be compiled strictly for the purpose at undertaking serious planning measures for initiation

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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

or extension of subway systems often contract for sual inspection and study of a continuous horizontal
broadscale geologic evaluations of the areas of their and vertical section of earth materials. Examples of
main traffic-flow patterns. The past decade has seen some special methods of geologic mapping tech-
release of several of these studies, generally in coop- niques are given in the following subsections.
eration with State surveys or the U.S. Geological
Survey. 4.3.6.1 Test Pits. Test pits are generally excavated
by backhoe and logged by visual descriptions of the
4.3.5 Integration with General Project excavated spoil and pit walls. Good sense and Federal
Photointerpretation regulations (Occupational Safety and Health Admin-
istration, 1974) dictate that the geologist should not
Most agencies have photointerpretation needs that enter unshored test pits greater than 1.5 m (5 ft.) in
extend beyond the primary design information col- depth.
lected during geologic mapping. Land utilization pat- Test pits can be placed at locations where the geolo-
terns and utility corridors affect both the cost of con- gist wishes to locate approximate contacts between
struction and the environmental acceptability of most surficial soil units or to determine depth to rock or the
transportation projects. Kansas DOT has developed a nature of weathering between top of rock and the
corridor analysis methodology which is applied suricial soil units. Small backhoes, which are
through its Environmental Services Section as a first mounted on rubber-tired tractors, can reach to about
action in the planning stage of a route project. A 4 m (12 ft.) of depth. The usual bucket capacity is
photomosaic is prepared at 1:24,000 scale, directly 0.3 m3(3/8 CU. yd.). For depths in excess of 4 m and for
overlaying existing USGS topographic coverage. A dense soil units, larger backhoes will be required.
series of derived maps are prepared as line overlays to Between eight and twelve pits can frequently be lo-
the photomosaic. The primary overlays are: cated, dug, logged, samples, observed for water in-
flow, and backfilled in a day. A sample test pit log is
Soil and geologic conditions included in Appendix A. If such are present, the
Drainage divides number and approximate total volume of boulders in
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

Utilities the pit should be noted. This may be of crucial impor-


Land utilization tance in planning site development and subsequent
use of spoil for earthwork. Shallow observation wells
The analysis is completed in the form of the corri- can be installed in test pits, but the geologist should be
dor maps and an explanatory text. Locations of spe- aware of the possibility of the looser replacement
cial interest may be located on the imagery and fur- spoil of the pit acting as a collection sump during
ther illustrated by enlarged aerial photograhic heavy rainfail, thus giving erroneous groundwater
stereograms. Maps such as these represent a useful levels.
method of assessing route alignment alternatives,
which are compared simply by overlaying the subject 4.3.6.2 Exploration Trenches. Trenches are
route on each of the corridor maps, lengthwise extensions of test pits. Their use is dis-
cussed in detail by Hatheway and Leighton (1979).
4.3.6 Special Methods of Geologic Mapping
4.3.6.3 Exploratory Shafts. Underground struc-
Geologic maps are made as a representation of field turesfsuch as some subway stations in urban areas,
geological observations. Nearly all geologic maps are are often designed with complex geometries. This can
made up of geologic contact lines which are drawn on result in unfavorable stress concentrations in wall
the field basemap on the basis of observations taken at rock, making structural assessments of the rock an
outcrops and other direct indications of contacts be- important facet of site exploration. When little is
tween geologic units. A variety of subsurface explora- known of rock structure in the site area, a combina-
tion techniques are used to supplement the surface tion of expensive oriented core borings (see Section
observations at outcrops. These accessory explora- 7), reorientation of unoriented rock core, and explor-
tions are especially useful whenever the contact rela- atory shaft mapping may be required to adequately
tionships are obscured by vegetation and the surficial assess the nature, attitude and spacing of rock discon-
soil mantle. tinuities.
Wherever slopes are gentle and offer little indica- One or more exploratory shafts may be churn-
tion of changes in soil or rock units, backhoe pits or drilled or calyx (a large-diameter rock core) drilled,
trenches can be used as the basic form of supplemen- wedge-separated and lifted from the boring) drilled to
tary information. Pits and trenches permit direct vi- create an accessible shaft about 1 m (3 ft.) in diame-

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Field Mapping

ter. Logging of such shafts, at scales of 1 : l O to 1:15 4-3. During subsurface explorations, the geologic
can provide an excellent summary of relationships not map may be improved with additional structural geo-
otherwise seen even in oriented rock core. logic data obtained from core borings. Fault traces or
geologic contacts may be projected with greater cer-
4.3.7 Rock Structure Mapping tainty utilizing the boring information. Also, the ori-
ented core technique of rock coring can be utilized to
Rock structure mapping entails observing, locating, supply supplemental strike and dip measurements of
measuring and recording lithologic contacts and var- subsurface rock discontinuities.
ious rock discontinuities which provide information Spherical projections provide a convenient tool for
on the orientation of rock masses and their bulk engi- graphical presentation of geologic data. Field mea-
neering characteristics. As discussed in Appendix E, surements of rock discontinuities may be plotted on
the engineering properties of rock should be consid- an upper hemisphere equal area steronet and may
ered at two levels, those of intact rock (or the hand then be interpreted statistically to provide preferred
specimen and laboratory sample level) and those of orientations of joint sets, foliation, shears, etc. to be
the rock mass. The manner in which intact-rock and used in engineering design analyses. The equal-area
rock-inass engineering data are evaluated and used in plot is made up of poles lying perpendicular to planes
engineering geological and geotechnical analyses lie represented by measured strike and dip of discon-
outside the scope of this Manual, however. tinuities. Each measurement is represented by one

--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---
Tko primary methods are commonly used to pre- pole, and the origin of the pole is the center of the
sent the results of a rock structure mapping program; hemisphere. An example of such a plot is shown as
1) geologic maps showing the location so lithologic Figure 4-4. Different symbols can be used for the
contacts and the presence and orientation of contacts various types of discontinuities, or all discontinuities
and discontinuities, and 2) statistical plots of struc- can be represented together using only one symbol.
tural geologic measuremests. Tlie measurements are Comprehensive discussions on the use of stero-
typically made with a Bruntoii compass and consist of graphic projections has been given by Hoek and Bray
strike and dip of faults, joints, foliation, shear planes, (1974) and Goodman (1976).
zones of broken rock, dikes, sills, veins, and contacts. In order to identify preferred orientations of sys-
Each of these geologic features should also be de- tems of discontinuities, contouring of polar point den-
scribed and classified according to the methods pre- sity may be performed. To arrive at a density contour
sented in Appendix E. plot, the polar point plot is divided into patches of
Maps can be compiled in the field and each obser- equal area and the occurrence of observations in each
vation should be station-related to feldbook notes patch is counted and translated into percent density.
describing the nature of discontinuities. Observation A contoured upper hemisphere polar point density
stations consist of individual rock outcrops or test plot of rock discontinuities is shown as Figure 4-5. If
trenches excavated to bedrock surface. The structural an extensive number of strike and dip observations
geologic observations are tabulated according to sta- have been obtained during field mapping, it may be
tion, attitude, and characteristics (Le., bedding, appropriate to use a computer program with an auto-
joints, shears, etc.) and should be provided as part of matic plotting routine, such as developed by Mahtab
the raw data of the final report (Section 10). et al. (1972). In addition to providing polar point plots
An example of a site area geologic map prepared and polar point density plots, the computer programs
for an Interstate Highway Extension project is por- can output statistical parameters and mean orienta-
trayed as Figure 4-3. Tlie mapping scale should always tions for clusters of observations representing bed-
be selected such that tlie geologic data obtained dur- ding, joint sets, etc. The amount of scatter for each
ing field mapping can be presented in sufficient detail joint set should be evaluated in engineering design
to clearly delineate site geology. If the scale permits, analyses.
limits of rock outcrops and test trenches should be
indicated, to separate the interpretive from the obser- 4.3.8 ibnne1 Silhouette Photography
vational data. Depending on the size of a project site
aiid tlie regional geology, it is possible that structural Tunnel silhouette photography is a means of record-
geologic conditions may vary significantly across a ing single-station, cross-sectional shape, and over-
study area. If this is the case, similar geologic observa- break through flash-photography. The technique is
tions and measurementsfrom various stations may be applied primarily to rock tunnels excavated by con-
grouped together into structicml domains. Approxi- ventional drill-and-blast techniques. In drill-and-
mate boundaries for the structural domains may be blast excavation, deviations from the design tunnel
presented on the geologic map, as shown on Figure cross-section are likely to occur and are of concern to

37
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Manual on Siibsii~aceInvestigations

G _ ~ m O c i CSVVeOLS

APPROXIMTE GEOCCGIC CWITACTI RUERIEU WERE


/' UNCERTAIN
3 STRIKE Am) OIP OF FOLiYTIOI
& STRIKE AWD DIP OF JOINT

Y STRIKE M D DIP OF FAULT


FAULT OR SHFAR 20WE; WIDTH IN FEET NOTE0
,,%,%%i?
BOUWMRY DF GEOLOGIC STRUCTUML OOMIN (SEE
TABLE Ill
@ s i R u c T u m L WWIN IDENTIFICATION.
/ SHORELINE OF W O R E RESERMIR

4
; -
,=?;S. APPROXIWTE AXIS AND CENTERLINE OF AYCICNT
MUCLIKEW BROOK ICE CIUNML

,@ LyRiFH&&WY SECTlOW APPROXIWTE


..e.
,.--- PROPOSED HIGHWV SECTIW WOWM APPROXIWTE
EXTENT OF EUBINKUEWT FILL

+w VERTICAL FOLUTIOW
I" VERTICAL JOIWT

STATIOW

*, AXUL PLAHE OF ANTICLIHE


AXIAL P U N E OF ANTICLINE SHOWlNG PLUNGE I*
OECREES
AXUL P U N E OF SYWCLINE

4, AXUL P U N E OF SYNCLINE SHOWIK RUNGE IN


DECREES

b"" LOCATIOI OF OUTCROP OR BORING FROM WICH THIN


SECTIOW W I S WDE. PETRMIRAPHIC AWLVSES W
THESE ROCKS ARE IWCLUDEO AS APPEWOIX F.

Hl
EASE TAKEN FROM LITTCETOW, N H - Y I (19711AND LOWER VATERFOR0
"-VI i19671 ?-I,?, U.S.G.S. IOPOGWFWIC QWDWNGLES.

EWCINEERIffi H>CK UWIT SVIIBOLS

f -BUCK SUIE

Figure 4-3. A site area geologic map prepared for an interstate highway (Haley & Aldrich, Inc.).
HIGHLANOCROFT
GRAWODIORITE

FOLUTEO. SCHISTOSE OR
GNEISSICHIGHINDCROFI
GRAWOOIORITE RESULTING FROM
CONTACT METAMORPHISU
I ic
2

design engineers, owners, and contractors. The pur- of rock over or under-excavated, compared to the
pose of generating tunnel silhouette photographs is to design tunnel cross-sectional area.
provide a convenient means to study the extent to Silhouette photography as applied to tunnels is not
which the blasting program and geologic features con- a new concept. Hillan (1955) used one form of silhou-
trol the excavated cross-sectional geometry. With a ette photography in connection with an Australian
specially designed light source, it is also possible to hydroelectric project. Fellows (1976) constructed a
quantify overbreak or underbreak, at given stations, light source patterned after the Hillan work, but in-
in terms of cross-sectional area. The amount of over- creased the light-source intensity. Fellows compared
break or underbreak can be expressed as a percentage the photographic method with two surveying tech-

38 --`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

Copyright American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials


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AASHTO T I T L E M S I AB O b 3 9 8 0 4 O O L L b b 7 411 =
Field Mapping

s s

0 Figure 4-4. Upper hemisphere polar point plot of Figure 4-5. Upper hemisphere polar point density
plot of rock discontinuities.

niques for measuring tunnel cross sections and con- tunnel silhouette photographs. The amount of over-
cluded that the photographic method was the most break above the design invert level at the station
accurate and quickest technique. The drawback of the shown on Figure 4-6 was then estimated by polar
Fellows method is the special photographic and sur- planimeter and agrees with survey data within two
veying equipment required. percent.
Until only recently, tunnel silhouette photography
has not been widely used in the United States. Law
Engineering Testing Company employed tunnel sil-
4.4 MATERIALS SURVEYS
houette photography qualitatively in 1977 on a rapid- Considerable attention is given in highway layout and
transit pilot (exploratory) tunnel project in Atlanta, design to create balanced sections of cut and fill,
Georgia, to evaluate typical tunnel cross-sectional thereby minimizing the use of imported materials.
geometry as affected by geologic features. Haley & Design engineers can predict the overall balance of
Aldrich, Inc. (1976) has developed a further-sim- cut and fill, and geologists and geotechnical engineers
plified silhouette photographic procedure. must evaluate the rock and soil components of the
A typical tunnel silhouette photograph made by excavated materials inventory as to suitability as con-
the Haley & Aldrich procedure is compared herein struction materials. It is unusual that a particular
with the results of profile-survey measurements at an construction project goes through design without the
individual station. Survey measurements of tunnel anticipated requirement for location and qualification
cross section were taken from a square wooden temp- of a borrow source of some kind. Materials surveys
let. These measurements were obtained with a crew are the medium of assessment of the borrow sources.
of four persons and took approximately 10 to 15 min- A materials survey should attempt to provide sev-
utes per station to obtain. eral types of design-related data. The data should be
Figure 4-6 has been plotted from survey data at the grouped according to similar bodies or geologic de-
same scale as silhouette photograph enlargement posits which can be identified by landform or struc-
(Figure 4-6). Survey data are compared directly to the tural character.
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---
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Manital on Subsurface Investigations

W. Lounsbury, Memphis State University, Novem-


ber, 1979).
The Tennessee study, under contract to the Divi-
sion of Soils and Geological Engineering, DOT, made

I
PAYLINE use of representative samples of defined geologic rock
units, as exposed in operating quarries throughout
(i- the state. The samples and quarries were chosen for
ta geographic coverage and to provide specimens from
nearly all of the lithologies of aggregates which have
been traditionally used in state highway construction.
Due to the fact that the study was statewide, a meth-
odology of analysis was adopted. The Tennessee
DOT method is as follows:
(a 1
Definition of the stratigraphy of expected sam-
ples
Field examination and sampling
Petrologic examination (hand specimen)
Petrographic analysis (thin-section)
Assign a lithologic and engineering rock name
Determination of grain size and texture
X-ray diffraction analysis for clay mineral and
other layer silicate discrimination
Performance of Differential Thermal Analysis;
for clay mineral and layer silicate confirmation
Examination of the insoluable residue.

--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---
Large amounts of data often call for computer stor-
age of analysis data and later access for statistical
correlation studies.
No system of materials evaluation can offer an ab-
solute qualification of suitability. However, important
ranges of properties can be developed so that engi-
neers are aware of the general degree of suitability or
unsuitability of certain types of aggregates and to
STATION: O+2O what extent such materials must be tested in order to
FAC I PIG: SCUTH qualify for consideration on a particular construction
SCALE: 1:60 ' project.
ib )
Figure 4-6. 1Iiinnel overbreak photograph and 4.4.1 County Wide Materials Surveys
plot used to determine volumes of ex-
cavated rock. Agreements of f two An alternative method to the Tennessee DOT spot
percent have been obtained by use of location of existing materials sources has been applied
this technique and the transit-survey by many State DOTS. These are generally organized
method (Haley & Aldrich, Inc.) on a county-wide basis and use the statewide, plan-
imetric basemaps fostered by the FHWA. Most of the
Statewide materials surveys are often undertaken work is accomplished on a cooperative basis with the
with the expectation that suitable sources are scarce in Federal Agency and results in single county reports of
the region and that the DOT may wish to acquire use not only to transportation agencies but to the
some reserves in anticipation of future requirements. aggregate industry. A positive side benefit of the
Such states as Arizona, Kansas and Tennessee have mapping is that there is some stimulus for private
undertaken these statewide surveys, and have done so development of aggregate sources which may be
on a basis of a uniform evaluation system. The Ten- available at an attractive cost to future transportation
nessee system is illustrative of this type of broad-area projects. The reports are a one-source compendium
assessment effort (personel communication, Dr. R. of geologic resource information for the county. A

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Field Mapping

* Abstract
Table 4-4.
Suggested Outline for County-Wide
Materials Inventory

Summary of the physiographic,


TYPE Material and
Geologic Saurce

LIMESTONE
USE AVAILABILITY

Altamont Limestone Formation Concrete and bitumimur lg- Moderate some in east-
gregate. Light type uufac ern part O f county.
lug.

Kertha Limestone Formatim Concrete and bltumimur ag- Good w u ~ ein eastern
hydrologic, geologic and hydro- gregate. Light type airfacing p u t of county.
and tipap
geologic features of the county
I I
Drainage and transporta-
tion map Saope Llmertone Formation Concrete and bitumimur ag- Moderate s o w e in e a t -
segate. Light type auficimg ern part of cauity.
Aerial photographic index and riprap

map Demis Limestone Formation Concrete and bituminour ag- G d w u c e Ln central


General Geology County-wide, color geologic map p u t of cwnty.
gregate. Light type surfacing
and riprap
at 1:250,000 to 1:400,000 scale,
geologic time scale, stratigraphic lola Limestone Formation Concrete and biturninour ag- Limited w u c c in north-
gregate. Light type airfacing r e i t e r n p t of county.
column, Quaternary time scale, and riprap
summarized geologic history and
Plattrburg Limestone Forma- Light type surfacing. Very limited murce along
review of geotechnical considera- tim western edge of cauit,.
tions for construction in the
county SAND AND GRAVEL
Materials The main section of the report: Uidifferentiated Quaternary
Temace (Ncka&an-K.nm?)
Concrete and biturninour ag- Very limited s o w e M
gregate. Light llpe nufac- higher t o p s a p h y alwg
Inventory Table of materials and 1ng. Nemho Riser.
availability
Description of materials by
1
Illinoban Terrace Light type awfacing. Very limited source along
Neorbo Rivet Valley.
geologic unit, including out-
crop stereograms
I I
Tabulated engineering Quaternary Alluvium I
Concrete and bitumimur ag- Moderate some In Ne-
properties gregate. Light type wirfac- I osho R i v u Valley.
irig.
County materials map, by
area segments, at 1:31,250 Figure 4-7. A county-wide materials inventory
scale, with explanatory leg-

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end summary, part of the Kansas DOT
Site Data Forms; one per statewide materials inventory.
identified existing or poten-
tial source. 4.5.1 mes, Availability, Advantages, and
Limitations of Aerial Data
A variety of aerial remote sensing data exist. This
table of contents for a Kansas county Construction discussion is limited to those data which have some
Materials Inventory is shown in Table 4-4. applicationto terrain analysisand geotechnical explo-
Figure 4-7 is an example of the table of materials ration, are readily available, and reasonably econom-
and availability of a Kansas Countywide Materials ical. These include aerial photography, satellite data,
Inventory. infrared and radar imagery.
Sampling and testing for materials inventories are
usually conducted in accordance with AASHTO and 4.5.1.1 Aerial Photography. The most useful and
state standards (Kansas DOT, 1973). available of the remote sensing data is aerial photog-
raphy. It is availablein various fiimtypes, formats and
scales. The film types include: (1) black-and-white
4.5 REMOTE SENSING (B&W)-panchromatic and infrared; and (2) color-
natural and infrared. The most common type used is
Remote Sensing is the acquisition of information the B&W panchromatic film. However, both color
about an object without physical contact. The normal films have proved valuable for terrain analysis studies
use of remote sensing usually refers to the gathering and have been used more frequently in recent years.
and processing of information about the earths envi- The common photographic formats include vertical
ronment, particularly its natural and cultural re- (camera perpendicular to the ground) and oblique
sources, through the use of photographs and related (camera tilted from the vertical). Vertical photogra-
data acquired from an aircraft or satellite (Colwell, phy is the predominant format used for interpre-
1983). The aerial data collected by remote sensing tation and mapping; obliques are valuable for eval-
systems includephotography (obtained by a camera), uating valley walls and sidehill slopes. Typical scales
and imagery such as satellite, multispectral, infrared of photography include: (1) ultra-high altitude
and radar (obtained by systems other than a camera). (>1:80,000), (2) high altitude (1:40,000-

41
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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

1:80,009), (3) medium scale (1:20,000-1: 40,000, Limitations. Availability, access, and date of
(4) large scale (1:6,000-1:20,000), and (5) very large photography may limit its value. It might take a
scale (<1:6,000). All of these scales have been ap- month or longer to obtain existing photography; the
plied in various ways for terrain analysis and geo- photography might be too old and photographic cov-
technical exploration. A program of special value for erage takes long range planning, as much as a year in
terrain analysis is the National High Altitude Photo- advance; although general non-mapping photographs
graphy (NHAP) program under the coordination of can be obtained rapidly by renting a plane and taking
the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). In this program, pictures with a hand-held camera-weather permit-
B&W coverage at 1:80,000 and color infrared at ting. In heavily forested regions it may be difficult to
1:58,000 are obtained for the conterminous United interpret terrain conditions because the ground is not
States on a 5 to 6 year cycle. The first cycle started in visible except in scattered areas.
1980 and the second in 1985.
Availability. Access and availability of existing pho- 4.5.1.2 Satellite Imagery. The vast majority of sat-
tography are excellent in the United States and Can- ellite data available includes multispectral (MSS) and
ada and in much of the rest of the world. The National video (RBV) imagery obtained in the Landsat pro-
Cartographic Information Center (NCIC) of the gram (Short, 1982). Some satellite photography is
USGS, maintains an index to all acetate-base film availablefrom manned Skylab and Gemini programs;
obtained from the mid 1940s in the United States by however, this coverage is limited and sporadic. The
Federal Agencies, many State Agencies, and some satellite imagery is small scale (-1: 1,000,000). Each
commercial firms. Information on available photog- image covers a ground area of about 115 miles x 115
raphy can be obtained from NCIC in the USGS Of- miles. Only limited stereoscopic coverageis available.
fices in Reston, Virginia, Rollo, Missouri, Denver, Five different Landsat satellites have been in opera-
Colorado, Menlo Park, California, and Sioux Fails, tion since the first one was launched in July 1972. The
South Dakota. Microfiche listings of the holdings for products available from Landsats 1 and 2 include 4
individual states or regions can be obtained at a rea- bands of MSS data (in B&W), color infrared compo-
sonable cost. The National Archives in Washington, sites from the MSS data, and a limited number of
D.C., is the depository of all nitrate-base photogra- RBV images. Landsat 3 added a fifth thermal infra-
phy collected during the years 1936-1941. In Canada, red MSS band and improved RBV coverage. The
information can be obtained from the National Air- resolution of the 4 MSS bands is 79m, and the infrared
photo Library, Canada Department of Energy, Mines MSS band 240m. Landsats 4 and 5, in addition to the
and Resources in Ottawa. These resources just pro- MSS system, has a 7 band thematic mapper (TM)
vide a listing of the available coverage. To obtain with bands 1-6 having 30m resolution, and the ther-
copies of the photographs, one has to contact the mal infrared band 7 having 120m resolution. When
organization holding the negatives; this process may only one satellite was in operation, repeat coverageof
take a month or more. For those States or organiza- an area could be obtained every 18 days. When two
tions not included in the listing, direct contact has to satellites were in operation simultaneously, repeat
be made with the organizations to determine their coverage could be obtained every 9 days.
coverage. The price list from NCIC, effective July, Availability. The distribution of Landsat data has
1987, indicates that 9.0 x 9.0B&W prints are $6.00 been turned over to a commercial firm, Earth Obser-
each, and color prints $16.00 each. vation Satellite Company (EOSAT). Inquiries about
Advantages. Aerial photography provides a three- available Landsat data can be made by calling
dimensional view of the terrain showing the condi- EOSAT at 1-800-367-2801. The information they re-
tions existing at the time of photography, and the quire is either the latitude and longitude of the area of
interrelationships existing between various natural interest, or the path and row of the images covering
and manmade features. Better results are obtained the area obtained from the Index to Landsat World-
from analyzing photographs collected several differ- wide Reference Systems (WRS). The WRS index
ent times over a period of a year, rather than just maps are available from NCIC. Other information
once. For example, photographs taken in the spring requested is acceptable image quality (5, fair; 8,
during the wettest time of the year, would provide good), and maximum acceptable cloud cover (lo%,
more information on soil/rock types and presence of 30%). The cost of a paper print (7.3 x 7.3) of a
high water table and seepage; photographs taken in B&W MSS image is $80, B&W TM image $150; a
the fall would indicate tree and vegetation differences color composite already prepared for an MSS image
that might be related to soirock and water condi- $150, and a TM image $360. If a color composite has
tions. Together, they provide a more complete picture not been previously prepared, then there is an addi-
of the terrain conditions. tional fee of $200 to generate an MSS image, and $300

42
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Field Mapping

to generate a TM image. Ail prices are as of July,


~
are passive sensors that rely on natural illumination or
1987. heat emission, radar is an active system that produces
0 Advantages. Can obtain repetitive, and multi-
spectral coverages of areas of interest. Very useful for
microwave radiation to illuminate the surface. Thus,
radar is a day-or-night, and virtually all-weather im-
regional natural resource studies (e.g. ,geology, vege- aging system. The most common type of radar imag-
tation, landuse); or to note changes that have oc- ery collected is that using a sidelooking airborne radar
curred over a period of time due to natural or man- (SLAR) system, using either K-band or X-band
made factors, temporal changes, or changes due to wavelengths, and horizontal (transmit)-horizontal
catastrophic occurrences. Excellent source of recent (receive) or (HH) polarization. Radar flights can
images of various parts of the world at reasonable cover large areas very rapidly, each flight strip cover-
costs. ing a band about 12 miles wide at scales of 1:250,000
Limitations. Small scale, lack of continuous stereo- or 1:400,000. Image resolution for the X-band sys-
scopic coverage, and added cost for color composites tems is about 10m. It is also possible to obtain stereo
if images not previously prepared. It also takes longer radar coverage (USGS, 1985).
to obtain these images. Stereoscopic satellite images Availability. Radar imagery is available from the
can be obtained from a recently launched European USGS for selected projects in the conterminous
satellite called SPOT, but this requires a special United States and Alaska. Radar strips or mosaics for

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order which is expensive. these project areas can be obtained from the USGS,
EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. A
4.5.1.3 Infrared Imagery. Thermal infrared imag- SLAR Microfiche Reference System showing the
ery can be obtained in certain regions or windows of areas of coverage is available from the EROS Data
the infrared region within the electromagnetic spec- Center. Paper prints of radar strips are $30 each,
trum; these are at the 3.0-5.0 and 8-14 micrometer 1:250,000 mosaics $85 each, and 1:1,000,000 mosaics
wavelengths. Daytime or nighttime imagery can be $60 each. (All prices are as of July, 1987.) The Good-
obtained, but the nighttime imagery has proven more year Aeroservice Company in Litchfield Park, Ari-
useful for terrain analysis (Rib and Liang, 1978). zona is the repository for radar imagery collected by
Availability. Infrared imagery has been obtained various DOD Agencies. The availability of strip radar
for various research projects by organizations such as coverage can be ascertained by providing latitude and
NASA, USGS, DOD, and several Universities. The longitude coordinates. Copies can be obtained at rea-
data obtained by NASA and USGS is available sonable costs. A limited amount of radar imagery has
through the USGS, EROS Data Center, in Sioux beenobtained from satellite systems. Coverage of the
Falls, South Dakota. Thermal infrared imagery can Seasat program and Shuttle Imaging Radar program
be obtained by contract withcommercialfirms such as are shown in the Geologic Applications section of the
Daedalus Enterprises Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan, Manual of Remote Sensing (Williams, pp 1698-1703,
and Teledyne Geotronics, Long Beach, California. 1983). Radar imagery can be obtained by contract
Costs for special flights can be expensive and proba- with some commercialfirms such as Goodyear Aero-
bly only justified for extensive or critical exploration service Co., Litchfield Park, Arizona, and E m ,
programs. Ann Arbor, Michigan. Costs for special flights are
Advantages. Infrared imagery offers some unique expensive and only justified for very large areas of
information that can not be obtained directly from the investigation.
analysis of aerial photography. The combination of Advantages. Radar can be obtained for large areas,
aerial photography and infrared imagery provides a day-or-night, in virtually all weather conditions and
more accurate portrayal of terrain conditions than can under a constant illumination. It is especially useful in
be obtained from either system alone. areas with constant cloud cover where it is difficult or
Limitations. Cost, limited availability of infrared impossible to obtain any other form of aerial data.
systems and data, the necessity of more ground infor- Limitations. Smallscale, cost, and limited availabil-
mation for interpretation of the imagery, and the need ity of existing data are some of the limiting factors in
for better weather conditions for flights, are some of the use of radar imagery. A knowledge of radar prin-
the factors limiting the use of this data. The resolution ciples is necessary for the proper interpretation of
of infrared imagery is not as good as for aerial photog- radar imagery.
raphy. A knowledge of infrared principles is neces-
sary for the proper interpretation of infrared imagery. 4.5.2 Uses of Aerial Data

e 4.5.1.4 Radar Imagery. In contrast to aerial cam-


eras and multispectral and infrared scanners, which
Aerial data provides an aerial overview of the project
area that is far superior to an actual overflight, and

43
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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

provides information that might not be easily is probably the best film type to use. The different
discernible by ground reconnaissance. Unlike ground color tones associated with different vegetative types
reconnaissance, photo interpretation allows for the and conditions (e.g., hardwoods from softwoods; un-
inspection of the terrain without the obstruction of dergrowth, pasture and grasses from forested areas;
topographic relief, vegetation, and cultural features. water from vegetation) can assist in relating the vege-
Aerial photography provides the interpreter with a tation types to the underlying soil, rock, and water
stereoscopic view of the route or site along with the conditions.
surrounding terrain. Using the standard two-power Thermal infrared imagery offers some unique in-
pocket stereoscope, a useful vertical exaggeration of formation not directly interpretable on other aerial
about 3.5 times, accentuates topographic relief. Vari- data. Various temperature and emissivity (efficiency
ations in topographic expression, along with the ele- of an object in absorbing and emitting energy) fea-
ments of drainage and erosional patterns, tone and tures of the terrain can be related to specific geo-
texture, and vegetation and cultural features form the technical conditions. Rib and Liang (1978) have listed
basis for terrain analysis. An added factor in increas- some valuable information that thermal infrared im-
ing the accuracy of interpreting aerial data is that of agery provides for landslide investigations: (1) indica-
analyzing data collected at different times of the year tion of surface and near surface moisture and drain-
over the project site. Differences noted at different age conditions; (2) indication of the presence of
times of the year over the project site. Differences massive bedrock at or near the surface; and (3) dis-
noted at different times of the year can be related to tinction between loose colluvial materials and solid
specific terrain conditions and thus help in the identi- bedrock. Tanguay and Chagnon (1972), and J. Buck-
fication of unique terrain features. meier of Texas Instrument, have reported success in
High-altitude and ultra-high photography, satellite using thermal imagery to locate the high moisture and
imagery, and radar imagery have proven useful for seepage zones in unstable areas. This aided them in
the initial stages of terrain analysis. They provide an planning exploration programs to stabilize these un-
excellent overview of the terrain and the interrela- stable areas. Thermal infrared imagery has also been
tionships of the natural and cultural features. Re- used in active volcanic areas such as in Yellowstone
gional geologic structure, traces of major faults, linea- National Park to aid in avoiding heated water and soil
ment delineation, and large regional instabilities are zones,
best represented on these data types (e.g., Alfoldi,
1974 was able to delineate landslide susceptible ter- 4.5.3 Image Interpretation
rain on a satellite image).
After the broad regional terrain analysis is per- The entire process of image interpretation is based on
formed on the small scale photography and imagery, the fact that geologic units (rock and soil) possess
medium and large scale photography should be used enough differences in physical characteristics as to
for planning the geotechnical exploration investiga- represent distinct regimes with respect to roughness
tions. Rib (1967) concluded after evaluating various of the ground surface, type of vegetation, shape and
aerial remote sensing data, that the best single system slope of, and the way in which the unit affects the
for delineating soils and soil conditions was large scale presence of groundwater and surface water. These
natural color photography; multispectral imagery aspects of the physical properties of the site affect the
provided additional soils/terrain information, but at a texture, tone, pattern, and color (if color imagery is
greater cost in time and money. Various other investi- available) of the image. Additionally, linear features
gators have similarly reported the value of color pho- of a non-cultural nature are added indicators of engi-
tography for terrain and geotechnical investigations neering significance. Virtually ail natural processes
(e.g., Chaves and Schuster, 1964; Mintzer and Bates; result in landform and vegetational elements which
1975, Stallard, 1965). Very large scale photography is are strictly nonlinear and nonuniform in shape and
not as useful because of the limited coverage per area extent. Features which take on a linear aspect
image. It may be difficult to gain an appreciation of should be identified and interpreted on the basis of
the interrelationships of geology and topography as whether or not they represent some form of previous
they influence project layout and design. stressing or breakage of the underlying natural mate-
Aerial photographs of forested regions are un- rials. Geologists are aware of the fact that even at the
doubtedly the most difficult to interpret. The vegeta- microscopic level, linear traces represent mineral
tive cover may become so dense, as in tropical areas, fracturing or stress concentrations and their related
as to preclude direct interpretation except in scat- microdisplacements. Such is also the case at the
tered areas and for certain elements of geology and macro-level of remote imagery.
terrain. For heavily vegetated regions, color infrared Tone and texture are rarely quantified in terms of

44 --`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

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Field Mapping

e their expression or lack thereof; rather, the photoin-


terpreter notes differences and similarities and places
boundary lines (geologic contacts) on the interpreta-
4.5.3.3. Compilation of the First Interpretation.
Using soft and carefully-sharpened color pencils
(Mars Omnichrome) begin marking apparent geo-
tion overlay. These contacts are the interpreters as- logic contacts between soil and/or rock units. If the
sessment of the differences and similarities between markings can be made without damage to the emul-
texture and tone of adjacent areas. When the inter- sion surface of the photographs, it is often best to do
preter adds the third element of landform and the so, leaving a photogeologic interpretation on alter-
successive elements of vegetation and evidence of nate stereoscopic prints. If damage is apparent or
surface or groundwater, the type of soil or rock be- markings are not allowed by custodians of the prints,
comes more and more apparent. then the use of a light-weight, semi-matte surface,
Entry-level personnel in the Agency should avail acetate film laid over one print of the stereoscopic
themselves of such excellent references as Ray pair is appropriate.
(1960), Miller and Miller (1961), Lillesand and Kiefer Colors are useful indicators of the nature of each
(1979), Way (1978), and Scovel and others (1965), in element of the interpretation. For example, yellow
order to independently develop their skill at image can be used to outline soil units, green for rock, red
interpretation. Actual transparent overlay interpreta- for structural features such as discontinuities and
tions should be made, in which the geologist or geo- folds, blue for groundwater and surface water, and
technical engineer goes to the point of making a pho- brown for cultural features and manmade fill. Note
togeologic interpretation or terrain analysis of the locations and areas that appear to be very important
photo. for field verification.
Some of the essential steps in image interpretations Within each area of soil or rock unit, place a first-
are listed below: approximation symbol indicating its expected physi-
cal nature (rock or soil type) and information dealing
4.5.3.1 Orientation. Arrange the flight lines of with its expected geologic origin, depth and possible
overlapping aerial photographs in sequential order of underlying material.
exposure, find north, and begin to locate the center
points of the photographs, or nadirs, on available 4.5.3.4 Assessment of the First Interpretation.
topographic maps. Once the average scale of the im- Transfer the interpretation to a transparent overlay
agery has been worked out, cut out a cardboard temp- and have a blueline facsimile made. Finalize the sym-
late in the square or rectangular format of the photo- bols, develop a draft map legend and color the map
graphs and to the same scale as that of the according to the symbols. The act of coloring a photo-
topographic map base. Mark the coverage of each geologic or geologic field map often makes errors and
image on the topographic basemap. discrepancies instantly apparent. It must be remem-
With this accomplished, locate the area of interest bered that this product is not a true map, but a form
to the project and determine which of the images map, since the various points traced rom the photo-
provide the best coverage. graphs may be at different scales and not in their true
map position.
4.5.3.2 Initial Scan of Imagery. Quickly scan the Plan a route of access and traverse across or along
imagery to detect the major aspects of image quality, the project alignment, such that all critical outcrops
the general nature of landforms, and the relationships or landforms are visited on the first field trip. The
between existing cultural features and the main topo- colored version of the photogeologic interpretation
graphic features. A good way to begin the mapping is can be annotated as to priority of each stop and an
to pick an area which represents a type of geology or indication of what will be investigated at the stop. The
landform with which the interpreter is most familiar. process of identifying the critical locations and defin-
Often a good place to begin the interpretation is a well ing the questions to be answered is the best method of
defined contact between valley-fill alluvium an sur- planning for effective field mapping.
rounding bedrock or glacial-drift-mantled hills.
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

Continue to scan the photographs gaining an ap- 4.5.3.5 Field Verification. Field verification,
preciation for the degree of variation in tone and should be used to confirm the nature and location of
texture representing the various soil and rock units geologic and cultural features identified on photo-
that begin to appear to the interpreter. Complete the geologic maps. This mapping is often best accom-
scan of all of the photographs making up the primary plished on the site-area route maps, generally about

e areal coverage of the route or site; return to area that


appeals to the interpreter as being the best place to
start.
1:6000 in scale. If the site-area topographic base has
been enlarged from existing governmenttopography,
it can be printed as a screened reproduction. The base

45
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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

itself will have a reduced visual impact due to the American Society of Photogrammetry, Fa Church,
screening. If the photogeologic contacts have been Virginia, 2 Vol., 1983.
optically transferred (by use of an enlarging-reducing Compton, R. R. Manual of Field Geology. John Wiley
tracing device) from the aerial photographs to the & Sons, Inc., 1962.
site-area basemap, the photogeologic interpretation
can be annotated and revised directly during the field Cooper, S. S. Cavity Detection and Delineation Re-
verification.During this field investigationa rudiment search: Report 3-Acoustic Resonance and Self-Po-
of the ensuing field exploration plan can be devel- tential Applications: Medford Cave and Manatee
oped, along with estimates as to the kind of equip- Spring Sites, Florida, Waterways Experiment Sta-
ment that will be required, the probable production tion, Department of the Army, GL-83-1. Available
rates for exploration and genera1 routes of access in From: National Technical Information Service,
terrain limited by topographic relief or relatively thick Springfield, Virginia, 1983.
vegetation. Curro, J. R. Cavity Detection and Delineation Re-
search: Report 2-Seismic Methodology: Medford
4.5.3.6 Finalization of the Photogeologic Interpreta- Cave Site, Florida, Waterways Experiment Station,
tion, The return to the office, the photogeologic Department of the Army, GL-83-1. Available From:
form map becomes, essentially, the first project geo- National Technical Information Service, Springfield,
logic map. This information should be transferred to a Virginia, 1983.
topographic base map and drafted, at least on a provi- Dennison, J. M. Analysis of Geologic Structures. W.
sional basis, for use as the main exhibit for project W. Norton & C o . , 1968.
briefings among other geotechnical personnel and
with the design and planning engineers. The photo- Doornkamp, J. C.; Burnsden, Q.; Jones, D, K. C.;
geologic map will next be enhanced by field mapping, Cooke, R. U.; and Bush, P. R. Radio Geo-
probably at a larger scale (1 :500 to 1:1,000) during morphological Assessments for Engineering. Quart.
actual field exploration. Jour. Engr. Geol., London, Vol. 12, pp. 189-204,
1979.
Eyles, N. Glacial Geology. An Introduction For En-
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

4.6 REFERENCES gineering and Earth Scientists, Toronto University,


Canada, Monograph, Oxford, England: Pergamon
Press, 1983.
Alfldi, T. T. Regional Study of Landsliding in East-
ern Ontario by Remote Sensing. Department of Fellows, S. Tunnel Profiling by Photography. Tun-
Civil Engineering, University of Toronto, MS thesis, neb and Tunneling, pp. 70-73, May 1976.
1974. Galster, R. W. A System of Engineering Geology
Ballard, R. F. Cavity Detection and Delineation Mapping Symbols. Bull. Assoc. of Engr. Geologists,
Research: Report 5 , Electromagnetic (Radar) Tech- Dallas, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 39-47, 1977.
niques Applied to Cavity Detection. Waterways Ex- Gartner, J. F.; Mollard, J. D.; and Roed, M. A.
periment Station, Department of the Army, Techni- Ontario Engineering Geology Terrain Study Users
cal Report GL-83-1. Available From: National Manual. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources,
Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia, Ottawa, Report NOEGTS 1, 1980.
1983. Goodman, R. E. Methods of Geological Engineering.
Bowen, R. Geology in Engineering. Whittier Col- West Publishing Co., 1976.
lege, California, Monograph Essex, England: Haley & Aldrich, Inc. Geotechnical Data Report,
Elsevier Applied Science Publishers, Limited, 1984. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Red
Chaves, J. R. and Schuster, R. L. Use of Color Line Extension NW-Harvard to Davis, Porter
Photography in Materials Survey. HRB Rec. 63, pp. Square Station Pilot Tunnel. Vol. I, June 1976.
1-9, 1964. Hatheway, A. W. and Leighton, F. B. Trenching as
Church, R. H. and Webb, W. E. Evaluation of a an Exploratory Method. Reviews in Engineering Ge-
Ground Penetrating Radar System For Detecting ology, Vol. IV, Geol. Soc. America pp. 169-195,
Subsurface Anomalies. U.S. Department of The 1979,
Interior, Bureau of Mines, N9004. Available From: Hillian, D. N. Tunnel Cross Sections by Photogra-
National Technical Information Service, Springfield, phy: Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Authority.
Virginia, 1985. The Australian Surveyor, Vol. 14, p. 283, September
Colwell, R. N. (Ed.) Manual of Remote Sensing. 1955.

46
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Field Mapping

Hoek, E. and J. W. Bray. Rock Slope Engineering. Photography for Highway Applications.? Final Re-
Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 1974. port 3849-1, Federal Highway Administration, 1975.
Idaho TransportationDepartment. Materials and Re- Mintzer, O. W., (Ed.) Chap. 32, ?EngineeringAppli-
search Manual. Boise, Idaho. cations,? Manual of Remote Sensing, American Soci-
John, K. W. ?Graphical Stability Analysis of Slopes ety of Photogrammetry, Falls Church, Virginia, Vol.
in Jointed Rock.? Journal of the Soil Mechanics and 2, pp. 1955-2109, 1983.
Foundation Division, ASCE, Vol. 94, No. MS2,1968. Naismith, H. W., and Gerath, R. F. ?Geotechnical
Kansas Department of Transportation. ?Construc- Air Photo Interpretation.? The B. C. Professional
tion Materials Inventory of Republic County, Kan- Engineer, Vancouver, British Columbia, August
sas.? Kansas Dept. of Trans. Report, Topeka, Kansas. 1979.
Ray, R. G. ?Aerial Photographs in Geologic Inter-
Kansas Department of Transportation. ?Standard pretation and Mapping.? U.S. Geol. Survey Prof.
Specifications for State Road and Bridge Construc- Paper 373, pp. 230, 1960.
tion.? The Department, Topeka, Kansas, pp.
510-574, 1973. Rib, H. T. ?An Optimum Multisensor Approach for
Detailed Engineering Soils Mapping.? Joint Highway
Lacey, D. L. ?Applications of Soil Survey Data to Research Project No. 22,2 Vol., Purdue University,
Highway Engineering in Kansas.? HRB Bull. 83, pp.
1966.
29-32, 1953.
Rib, H. T. and Liang, T. ?Recognition and Identifica-
Lahee, F. H. Field Geology, 5th Ed., McGraw-Hill
tion. ?Landslides: Analysis and Control. TRB, Spe-
Book Co., 1952.
cial Report 176, pp. 34-80, 1978.
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Law Engineering Testing Company. ?Report of Ge-


Roed, M. A. ?Northern Ontario Engineering Geol-
ology and Instrumentation, Peachtree Center Station
ogy Terrain Study, New Liskeard Area, District of
Pilot Tunnel, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit
Timiskaming.? Ontario Ministry of Natural Ke-
System, CN-124.? Vol. II, North Line, August 1977.
sources, Ontario, Report NOEGTS 84, 1979.
Legget, R., F and Burn, K. N. ?Archival Materia1
Sauer, E.K. ?A Field Guide and Reference Manual
and Site Investigations,? Canadian Geotechnical
0 Journal, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 483-490, National Re-
search Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, 1985.
For Site Exploration in Southern Saskatchewan.? Re-
gina, Canada: Saskatchewan Highways and Trans-
portation, 1987.
Lillesand, T. M., and Kiefer, R. W, Remote Sensing Scovel, J. L.; O?Brien,E. J.; McCormack, J. C.; and
and Image Interpretation. John Wiley and Sons, 1979. Chapman, R. B. Atlas of Landforms. New York:
Lovell, C. W. and Lo, Y. K. T. ?Experience With A John Wiley & Sons, 1965.
State-Wide Geotechnical Data Bank,? Purdue Uni- Sellmann, P. V., Arcone, S. A., and Delaney, A. J.
versity, Woodward-Clyde Consultants, TwentiethAn- ?Radar Profiling of Buried Reflectors and the
nual Engineering Geology and Soils Engineering Groundwater Table.? Cold Regions Research and
Symposium Proceedings, Boise, Idaho, pp. 193-203, Engineering Laboratory, Department of the Army,
Idaho Department of Highways, Boise, Idaho, 1983. CRREL 83-11, Hanover, New Hampshire, 1983.
Mahtab, M. A. et al. ?Analysis of Fracture Orienta- Short, N. M. The Landsat Tutorial Workshop. NASA
tions for Input to Structural Models of Discontinuous Ref. Pub. 1078, 1982.
Rock.? U.S. Dept. Interior, Bureau of Mines Report
Stallard, A. H. and Beige, R. R. Jr. ?Evaluation of
of Inv. 7669, 1972.
Color Aerial Photography in Some Aspects of High-
Mattox, R. M. and B. P. Landry. ?Excavation, way Engineering.? HRB Rec. 109, pp. 18-26, 1966.
Trenching and Shoring Operations.? Highway Focus, Thornburn, T. H. and Bissett, J. R. ?The Preparation
U.S. Federal Highway Administration, Vol. 6, Na. 2, of Coil Engineering Maps. From Agricultural Re-
pp, 16-24, 1974. ports.? HRB Bull. 46, pp. 87-95, 1951.
Miller, V. C. and Miller, C. F. Photogeology. UNESCO. Engineering Geological Maps. The
McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., 1961. UNESCO Press, 1976.
Ministry of the Environment. Terrain Classification. U.S. Army. ?Geologic Mapping of nnels and Pe-
Resource Analysis Branch, British Columbia Envi- riphery Method.? Dept. of Army, Ofice of Chief of
ronment and Land Use Committee Secretariat, Third Engineers, E T L 1110-1-37, Washington, D.C., 1970.
Printing, Victoria, B.C., 1977. U.S. Geological Survey. ?SLAR Side-Looking Air-
Mintzer, O. W., and Bates, D. ?Use of Color Aerial borne Radar.? October, 1985.

47

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Varnes, D. J. The Logic of Geologic Maps, With Williams, R. S. Jr. (Ed.) Geological Applications,
Reference to Their Interpretation for Engineering Manual of Remote Sensing, American Society of Pho-
Purposes. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Pa- togrammetry, Faiis Church, Virginia, Vol. 2, pp.
per 837, 1974. 1667-1953, 1983.
Way, D. S. Terrain Analysis. Dowden Hutchinson & Wilson, H. E. The Geological Map and the Civil
Ross, Inc., 1977. Engineer. in Roc. X N , International Geological
Way, D. S. Terrain Analysis, 2nd Ed., Dowden Congress, 1972*
Hutchinson & Ross, Inc. and McGraw-Hiil Book
Co., 1978.

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5.0 GEOLOGIC CONSTRAINTS

Transportation systems are subject to a variety of based on attainment of a level of assurance that the
rare, high-impact natural phenomena. Most of these constraint is compensated for in design.
forces have a geologic cause and involve some disrup- Constraints that represent frequency-dependent
tion of the terrain under or around the transportation natural events must be countered by measures to
network. The disruption is often created by dislodge- divert the forces (e.g., flood waters or snow ava-
ment of masses of earth materials onto or from a lanches) from the system or to strengthen the system
roadway cross-section, or by strain-type displace- so that it will retain acceptable minimal function
ments of roadways and other key structures. Such (e.g., earthquakes) immediately after the event has
forces have been termed geologic hazards. Recogniz- occurred.
ing that most of the hazards can be predicted in some Table 5-1 lists the more common geologic con-
way, geologists have recently adopted the term geo- straints, the general nature of their occurrence, the
logic constraints to indicate that, when properly iden- type of threat that they represent, the basis upon
tified as to presence or potential, such hazards can be which they are assessed for transportation system de-
engineered toward minimal impact. sign, and the design-level requirements placed on
Transportation systems subsurface investigations geological and geotechnical personnel in the trans-
should identify potential geologic impacts early in the portation organization.
office or field reconnaissance and define their key Design personnel should be able to define the na-
aspects so that planning and design personnel can ture of most threats due to geologicconstraints. After
provide the engineering response. The engineering definition of the threats, a philosophy of containment
solutions may range from minimal-cost measures to or avoidance should be developed on the basis of
consideration of serious economic impacts on the feasibility and cost. Once the decision is made to plan
basis of alternate design concepts or rerouting. for containment or avoidance, the site specific design-
level recommendations can be developed for either or
both choices. Separate subsections of this section dis-
5.1 PROVIDING DESIGN-RELATED cuss the nature of major geologicconstraints, and how
DATA each can be defined by Agency personnel to a degree
sufficient to warrant alignment and design decisions.
Geologic constraints should be considered in terms of
the magnitude of strain or disruption to the transpor-
tation system represented by the occurrence of each 5.2 DETECTION OF GEOLOGIC
event. Geotechnical engineers and geologists should CONSTRAINTS
detect the potential geologic constraint, assess its risk
of occurrence, and estimate the magnitude of the Geologic constraints may be passive or active, pre-
impact. Some constraints are continuous and ongoing dictable, quasi-predictable, or unpredictable, and of a
(such as swelling soil or rock), others are single-event single-event or recurring nature. Nearly all transpor-
threats (such as unstable soil and potential land- tation projects will encounter some form of geologic
slides), others are frequency-dependent and recur- constraint; those of least impact can result in infre-
ring (earthquakes and hydraulic damage). quent roadway hazards and intermittent maintenance
For constraints that are continuous or single-event costs; the more serious constraints would be capable
@ in nature, the constraint is considered to represent a
100-percent risk potential. Design should then be
of causing severe losses in human life and property
damage, and could result in relocation of a facility or

49
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Table 5-1.
Identification and Accommodation of Geologic Constraints in li-ansportation System Design
I

Design-Level
Constraint Occurrence Nature of Threat Assessment Basis Requirements
SUBSIDENCE Single-event; Predict- Mass displacement; Mapping, drilling, Depth, geometry and
able (active mineral open voids in road- geophysics areal extent of min-
extraction) Un- way eral extraction activ-
predictable (aban- ity; devise methods
doned mineral of avoiding or inac-
extraction activities) tivating the process
Quasi-predictable
(growth faults and
carbonate dissolu-
tion)
LANDSLIDES Single-event; Predict- Mass displacement of Remote sensing, Geometry of mass;
AND OTHER able roadway or debris mapping, drilling, definition of driving
MASS WASTAGE onto roadway geophysics, instru- forces; method drain-
mentation ing water or reduc-
tion of driving forces,
relocation if remedial
treatment is not cost-
effective
UNSTABLE SOIL Single-event; Fredict- Slow and continuous Mapping, drilling, Estimate potential
AND ROCK able displacement of petrology, petrogra- for volumetric
roadway and struc- phy, known detri- change under mois-
tures; adjacent slope mental geologic ture variation and ex-
sloughing formations posure to elements;
define need to re-
move, drain, isolate,
or overcome by
structural resistance
FLOODING Frequency-dependent Removal or obstruc- Mapping, hydrologic Estimation of erosion
tion of roadway or statistics susceptibility, deter-
structures mination of level or
path of flow
SEICHES AND Frequency-depend- Disruption of traffic; Assess geometry of Define risk-related
TSUNAMIS ent; Risk basis erosion of roadway; roadway; use of hy- level of runup and
debris obstacles to drologic statistics, area of inundation
traffic empirical seismic re-
lationships
TIDAL Predictable Inundation of road- Review hydrographic Estimation of runup
INUNDATION way, lodgement of records, assess site area, erosion, sus-
debris geometry ceptibility of soi
rock
VOLCANISM Quasi-predictable; Blockage of roadway Mapping to include Estimate path, vol-
Frequency-dependent (lava flows, ash falls, presumed volcanic ume, depth, rate of
mudflows) disruption vent; stratigraphic advance of each type
of drainage up- basis for frequency; of roadway blockage
stream; noxious seek evidence of unit; consider diver-
gases each type of roadway sion schemes
blockage unit
AVALANCHES Predictable within Disruption of traffic, Mapping of previous Estimation of maxi-
each season; on ob- lodgement of debris, accumulations and mum mass volume
servation structural damage flow paths and rate of flow;
most likely flow
paths
POLLUTANTS Unpredictable Incidental to use of Determine volume Estimation of vol-
FROM SPILLS the roadway; hazard and area of spill; po- umetric distribution
until cleared; possi- sition of ground wa- of spill; rate and
ble long-term envi- ter; fluid path of migration;

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Geologic Constraints

Table 5-1. (Continued)

a Identification and Accommodation of Geologic Constraints in 'Ransportation System Design


Design-Level
Constraint Occurrence Nature of Threat Assessment Basis Requirements
ronmental impact transmission proper- assist in cleanup pro-
ties of substrate gram design
EROSION Predictable Loss of roadway; dis- Mapping, drilling, Estimation of suscep-
ruption of roadway sampling, testing; de- tibility to erosion;
drainage facilities termine surface wa- devise drainage pro-
ter flow paths visions; recommend
soiilrock surface
treatment

route. It is generally possible to anticipate geologic In addition to the literature review and search for
constraints, through knowledge of the particular physical factors that may indicate the presence or
physiographic region or natural problems associated activationof geologic constraints (such as clay mineral
with construction in similar terrain, or from engineer- type, low soil density, abandoned coal mines, or frost
ing geological predictions associated with the geology susceptibility), photogeologic studies can detect
of the site or route. many of the constraints which have developed in the
Environmental impact assessments should detect past. Examples of these features are sinkholes or
major geologic constraints. These are the constraints karst topography resulting from carbonate dissolu-
which lie largely external to the project and which tion, as well as landslides, shore or riverbank erosion,
may be activated by or otherwise affect the project. frost heave patterns, and mudflows. With a h i t of
Examples are major landslides, volcanism, or floods. resolution of about three feet, for 1:20,000 scale pho-

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Other constraints may be equally important but more tography, significantly large areas of constraint-af-
localized and are activated strictly by the presence of fected ground can be detected before entry into the
the roadway. Examples of these phenomena are un- field.
stable soil and rock material, subsidence, the smaller
landslides, and erosion of slopes and embankments
produced during construction of the roadway. 5.3 SUBSIDENCE
Part of the preliminary planning for a route, exclu-
sive of the environmental impact statement, WUbe a The phenomenon of downward sinking of the ground
literature search. This review should define the gen- surface in generally bowl-shaped configurationsis ter-
eral lithology of rock units, along with previously- med subsidence. Subsidence is induced through the
noted occurrences of geologic constraints. Maps de- removal of either the pore fluid or solid components
picting mineral and groundwater extraction activities of earth materials below the ground surface or, more
are common and well fields, mines, and quarries rarely, by long-term naturally occurring volumetric
should be identified early in the study. Table 5-1 may shrinkage of relatively thick sequences of unconsoli-
be used as a checklist for possible geologic constraints dated sedimentary soiIs.
in the region. In reviewing the constraint categories, Subsidence generally affects transportation sys-
geologists should consider the possibility that con- tems in some way because once underway, the vol-
struction of the transportation system may introduce umetric decrease usually occurs over fairly large
new physical parameters such as adverse stress distri- areas; as much as 13,000 km2 in the Houston-Gal-
bution and pore water accumulation that have not veston area (Holzer, 1980). Although the lowering of
been present previously. New geologic constraints the ground surface is generally at a slow rate, develop-
could be activated; threats which are reasonably pre- ing stress fields can lead to strain accumulation at
dictable, but which have not been previously encoun- depth and the formation or reactivation of fault-like
tered in the region. However, in almost all cases, if a earth fractures. These fractures may open at the
site or route is evaluated for impact against the key ground surface in a matter of minutes, and may be
factors for each geologic constraint, the potential for large enough to create obstacles to automobile and
occurrence of individual geologic constraints will truck traffic, deform rail lines, or damage or alter
emerge, and these factors can be verified or discarded gradients in drainage systems.
on the basis of field mapping and subsurface explora- Subsidence is usually not anticipated by transporta-
0 tions. tion designers in areas in which it has not previously

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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

been noted. However, it may be logically expected to 1930s at which time the U.S. Navy undertook mea-
occur in some areas, due to groundwater and mineral sures to build sea retention dikes at its Naval Ship-
extraction activities. The potential for and character yard. This subsidence later developed into a semi-
of subsidence may be generally predicted on the basis elliptical bowl and the maximum subsidence has now
of certain factors: (1980) reached more than 13 m. (40 ft.) below the
original ground surface. Hydrogeologists of the U.S.
Relatively thick sequences of younger, Geological Survey, in following this evidence of subsi-
unconsolidated or semi-consolidated sedimen- dence due to fluid withdrawal, began to detect signifi-
tary materials cant amounts of subsidence in the San Joaquin Valley,
Irregular bedrock topography jutting upward here due to newly developed deep-draw water pumps
into the sedimentary sequence supplying the developing agricultural industry.
Heavy ground water withdrawal for irrigation or At the present time, the U.S. Geological Survey
water supply continues to define the mechanisms of the various
New or on-gohg petroleum extraction activities types of subsidence that are currently active in the
Active or abandoned mines Southwest and Rocky Mountain states. Holzer (1980)
Highly variable aquifer and aquitard stratig- has reported on these on-going studies which have
raphy in the sedimentary section defined more than 22,000 km2(8,500 mi2)of land that
Near surface, soluble rock formations, (for are affected by widespread fluid-withdrawal induced
example: limestone) in which groundwater has subsidence (Fig. 5-1).
flowed or is currently flowing The Houston-Galveston area of Texas has been
known to be the seat of water-withdrawal subsidence
Some guidelines relating to mechanisms causing since the 1950s. In this area alone, more than 150
subsidence are presented in the following sections. active subsidence faults have been mapped, with an
They may be used as indicators for the detection of aggregate length of more than 500 km. (305 mi.).
potential subsidence problems along transportation Damage to roadways and structures is slow and ongo-
system alignments. ing, but the dip-slip nature of these activated faults
creates vertical displacements of up to 1m. (39 in.).
5.3.1 Fluid-Withdrawal Effect As of 1978 (Kreitler and McKalips) displacements
now traverse two airports, eleven Interstate highway
Three-dimensional volumetric shrinkage of soil or locations and railroad lines at twenty-eight places.
otherwise unconsolidated sediments is termed con- Extensive drilling and careful borehole geophysical
solidation in the engineering context of this Manual. logging are used by consulting firms and agency per-
Relatively loose cohesionless soils and relatively soft
cohesive soils can contain a significant percentage of
void spaces which, below the water table are filled
with pore water. These soils are capable of losing
significant percentages of their pore water under im-
posed structural loads or from drainage or weli pump-
ing. As the pore water drains or is forced out of the
matrix voids, the soil mass loses a portion of its vol-
ume as individual grains adjust positions and move
together.
Subsidence is generally not considered to result
from foundation loading; this type of volumetric
shrinkage is routinely analyzed as consolidation un-
der load, with resulting settlement. However, fluid
withdrawal activities also create volumetric shrink-
age, but in these instances the volume change is cen-
tered within the stratum from which fluid is being
withdrawn by oil, gas, or water wells. The consolida- @, EARTH FISSURES
v FAULTS
& y
tion begins at the weii points and extends out into the
stratum, appearing at the ground surface as subsi-
dence. Figure 5-1. Locations in the U.S. of ground
Subsidence due to petroleum pumping in the Long failure associated with groundwater
Beach, California area became observable in the withdrawal (Holzer, T.L., 1980).

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Geologic Constraints

sonne1 to trace the position and extent of the faults. and tension. Where near-vertical pre-existing faults
Kreitler (1976) and Kreitler and McKalips (1978) list occur in the area of fluid withdrawal, earlier displace-
five aspects of site-specific screening in the Houston- ments often create partial ground water barriers by
Galveston area: juxtaposing aquifer against aquitard, thus limiting
withdrawal of water to the aquifer side of the fault. As
Evident topographic scarps the aquifer adjusts to pumpage and consolidates, a
Borehole geophysical logging stress differential builds up at the fault interface and
Exploratory trenching eventually results in downward displacement along
Reniote imagery lineations the side facing the aquifer. Some of the shear dis-
Horizontal electrical resistivity profiling placement is carried upward, and may be evident at
the ground surface.
Many of the subsidence faults may be non-tectonic
growth faults incapable of creating earthquakes (Sec- 5.3.2 Mining-Induced Subsidence
tion 5.3.4.).
Interstate 10, west of Tucson, Arizona, has been Mining activities produce voids equal to the volume of
plagued by creep-type vertical displacements in the extracted ore. Many mines are designed to remain
roadbed, since its construction in the early 1960s. open for the life of the facility, others are designed to
U.S. Geological Survey personnel (Holzer, 1980) remain open only in segments of the mine that are
have mapped such fractures in more than 3000 km2 required as haulways and access and ventilation
(1150 mi2)in two areas of southeast and south-central shafts. Portions of the mine openings left abandoned
Arizona. Fractures, such as that shown in Figure 5-2, or otherwise not permanently supported, will fail
have been measured open to depths of 10to 25 m. (30 with time. In bedded formations, such as those in
to 80 ft.) deep and erosion-enlarged to a meter or which coal is mined, the failure comes with progres-
more in width. sive deterioration of the support pillars of unmined
The mechanism by which subsidence-related frac- coal, or with deterioration of intervening roof spans.
tures occur and open is believed to be largely shear The extent to which the effect of failing roof strata

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Figure 5-2. Incipient fissure enlarged by erosion; note geologists pick for scale. (A.W. Hatheway)

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or support pillars extends upward is mainly a function workings and in the order of development of the
of the depth at which the mine has been developed. mine. Areas known to have been worked previous to
As pillar and roof rock fail, there is volumetric bulk- this time should be considered to be a potential risk
ing. The void space is progressively filled by the ex- for subsidence-related ground deformation.
panding volume of rock rubble falling into the up- In the copper mining industry, subsidence induced
ward-moving void. Upward propagation of broken through the block-caving technique is an accepted
rock may cease short of breaking the ground surface, facet of operation. Rock mechanics experts in the
in which case ground surface subsidence may not mining industry are not yet able to accurately predict
occur. the geometry of surface subsidence effects in block
Modern coal mining practice and Government min- caving, but estimates should be available. At San
ing regulations now call for careful planning for mine Manual Copper Mine, about 80 km. (50 mi.) north of
development, recording of the geometry of the mine Tucson, Arizona, the positive economic state-wide
workings, and measures to mitigate the tendency to impact of development of the mine, starting in 1955,
create subsidence effects at the ground surface. New led to the decision to abandon a state secondary road
mines will probably not present threats to transporta- that originally crossed the present subsidence pit
tion system design and maintenance. Most of the on- area.
going mine subsidence damage, however, stems from
the near-surface (generally less than 30 m. [lo0 ft.]) 5.3.3 Sinkholes
presence of abandoned mines, most of which were
devcloped, mined and closed without records. They One of the major geologic constraints that is found
are also commonly the source of acid drainage waters throughout certain portions of the world is the pres-
that pollute streams in the area. State agencies have ence and continued enlargement of subsurface voids
been involved in the past in monitoring coal mining. in rocks (primarily limestones) that are subject to
Transportation agency personnel can secure maps of dissolution by the passage of moving groundwater. As
coal mining regions that will outline the general ex- dissolution continues with time, and individual cavi-
tent and nature of the producing members of coal- ties grow and coalesce, gravity-induced collapse often
bearing formations. Under the provisions of the Rural appears at the ground surface in the form of roughly
Abandoned Mine Program, county offices of the circular, closed depressions. These depressions are
U.S.D.A. Soil Conservation Service may also be able most commonly called sinkholes, but they are known
to provide information relating to the existence of also by a variety of other terms with geographic,
abandoned mines or waste dumps that might impact lithologic, or generic implications. The general term
transportation system design. for the landform that results from dissolution is karst.
The abandoned mines represent a subsidence po- Transportation structures have been adversely af-
tential in the form of surface fracturing of roadways, fected in the past by sinkholes which have enlarged
development of pits and sinkholes in roadways and and collapsed beneath roadways and structural foun-
undermining of embankments and sidehill fills. De- dations. Remedial measures include cleaning and in-
tection of subsidence-prone areas should consider the filling, or injection of stabilizing filler. A major review
use of coal mining district maps, geologic maps de- of the conditions of formation of sinkholes under all
picting the outcrop patterns of known coal-producing geologic and climatic conditions has been completed
strata, remote-imagery interpretation of obvious sur- (Franklin and others, 1980).
ficial features indicative of subsidence, careful align- The main minerals that are involved with dissolu-
ment mapping to detect mine openings, acid mine tion are dolomite (CaMg (C03)z),gypsum (Caso4),
drainage, spoil piles, abandoned workings, and the calcite (CaC03) and aragonite (CaC03), in order of
selective use of geophysical techniques, such as grav- increasing solubility. Sinkholes should be anticipated
imetric surveys. in any carbonate rock terrain in which groundwater
Underground mining of salt by selective extraction lies close enough to the surface to produce cavities,
of salt beds also produces upward-propagating failure the collapse of which would eventually reach the
of individual beds. Salt deposits of this type are found ground surface. Also of concern are cavities which
in the Province of Ontario and in Michigan. The sur- may be large enough or could grow large enough to
face outcrop pattern of subsidence is influenced by cause over-stressing under loads imposed by overly-
the geometry and age of development of the under- ing transportation facilities.
ground workings. As in coal mining, subsidence is Franklin and co-workers note that mean annual
unintentional and unwanted by the mining com- precipitation in the range of 81to 142 cm (32 to 56 in.)
panies. Operations developed after about 1955 have has been noted to produce karst terrain in the United
generally considered this factor in the design of the States. W. E. Davies (1970) has mapped the occur-

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Geologic Constraints

reiice of rock units susceptible to sinkholes and re- Topographic scarps (vertical displacements of a
lated features of sinkholes. Inspection of topographic few inches per decade have been observed)
mapping and aerial photographs will assist in confirm- Geophysical traces (mainly from resistivity sur-
ing the presence of sinkholes. Drilling conducted in veys)
carbonate rock should be done with careful observa- Intersection of faults through coring or trench-
tion of rod drops and poor core recovery as indicators ing ,
of possible cavities, buried sinkholes, and dissolution Remote-image lineations
enlarged joints and bedding planes in rock that may
be later subjected to structural loads.
5.4 SLOPE MOVEMENTS
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5.3.4 Growth Faults Slope movements represent a variety of natural and


man-induced processes which result in gravitational
During years of geophysical reflection surveying for displacements of very small to extremely large bodies
petroleiini exploration, in the Gulf Coastal states of of soil and rock. Transportation resources are contin-
the United States, geophysicists and geologists have ually taxed by the impacts of slope movements on
detected unusual fault-like geophysical traces. These roadways and critical support structures. Such earth
features were identifiable as stratigraphic displace- and rock failures have been traditionally grouped
ments in the thick Tertiary-aged sedimentary se- together under the general term landslides, but their
quence, h t the throw (vertical displacement) be- wide variety and frequent disassociation with sliding
came greater with depth. The usual appearance of as a mode of displacement has led Varnes (1978) to
steeply-dipping normal or thrust faults is that the propose the overall use of slope movements as a unify-
displacenient is constant over the trace of the fault, as ing descriptor. Some aspects of slope movements are
viewed along strike and perpendicular to dip. Many of illustrated in Figures 5-3 through 5-4.
the traces were noted to approach the ground surface, The literature of slope movement processes is enor-
but geophysical interpreters were not directly con- mous. Collection of a large number of references will
cerned about surface structural damage or possible do little to help the engineer or geologist to discover
seismic activity. Exploration drilling in the 1950s be- and treat slope movement hazards. Rather, it is the
gan to detect the upward-increasing stratigraphic dis- familiarization with slope movement terminology,
placements along these growth faults. causative processes and indicators of existing or po-
With the advent of nuclear power plant siting in the tential slope movements that is essential. However,
Gulf area and with increasing urbanization of these acquisition of the following basic references is recom-
states, civil and structural engineers detected a grow- mended; Schuster and Krizek, eds., TRB Special
ing occurrence of fractures in curbs, road surfaces, Report 176, 1978, Eckel, E.B., ed., 1958; (out of
individual homes, and in a wide variety of engineered print); Coates, 1981; and Hoek, E., and Bray, J.,
structures. According to Kreitler (1976) the growth 1976. Other appropriate references are given in the
faults hac1 damaged more than 200 residences in reference list for this manual.
eleven comrnunities in Harris and Galveston coun- Slope movements in the United States accounted
ties, Texas, and are most observable on road and for expenditures of $50,000,000 in 1973 (Fig. 5-5),
highway surfaces. Cracking of pavement and struc- mainly for remedial treatments (Fleming, Varnes and
tural components with offsets of as much as 6 cm (2.5 Schuster, 1979).
in.) have been detected in Baton Rouge. Many of the
fractures actually represent regional subsidence due 5.4.1 Classification of Slope Movements
to groundwater withdrawal. However, many others
have occurred in areas in which groundwater-induced Varnes (in Schuster and Krizek, 1978) has produced a
subsidence has not been observed or has not occurred comprehensive treatment of slope movement pro-
to a significant degree. Unlike groundwater-induced cesses. An understanding of these processes is essen-
ground fractures, which are mainly curvilinear in tial to recognition of slope movement hazards in
trace and oriented around centers of groundwater transportation system planning and design. The use
pumping, these ground fractures appeared to be pre- of the Varnes classification is recommended because
dominantly linear. The damage has been widespread it is very comprehensiveand represents a terminology
in Texas and in other states underlain by thick accu- base that can be understood by design personnel.
@ mulations of Tertiary-aged sediments. The emphasis on slope movement awareness in
Kreitler (1976) gives four recognition criteria for transportation agencies should be placed on recogni-
growth faults intersecting the ground surface: tion of existing potentially unstable slope masses

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Figure 5-3. Rock slide along adversely-dipping (angled out of the cut slope) bedding on an
Interstate highway, during construction; note the particular planarity and relative
smoothness of the bedding planes. (A.W. Hatheway)

which could later impact the function of transporta- movement of rather intact bodies of soil or rock
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

tion systems or which may be triggered or activated by over an undisplaced lower boundary surface
construction, operation and maintenance of systems. Flows: gravitational downward movement of
Varnes (1978) bases his classification on subdivi- nonintact masses of soil or rock over an undis-
sions of material type (rock vs. soil) and type of placed lower boundary surface
movement. The following types of movement are dis- Complex movements: combinations of the
tinguished : above movement types and their subtypes

Falls and topples: gravitational downward Detection Of Movement-Prone Areas


movement without shear displacement Most existing slope movements are near other similar
Slides and spreads: gravitational downward examples, all clearly related to natural processes, cli-

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Geologic Constraints

Figure 5-4. A debris avalanche along California Highway 39 in the Angeles National Forest,
San Gabriel Mountains, northeast of Los Angeles. (A.W. Hatheway)

mate, vegetation, hydrogeological conditions, and seepage and disruption of natural drainage features.
the engineering properties of various geologic forma- Where slope movements result in strain imposition on
tions and soil units. The single most helpful tool in highways, rail lines, bridges, tunnels, or retaining
detection is a review of local and regional physi- walls, these man-made structures may bear evidence
ographic characteristics with other workers in the of rapid or creep-type deformation brought about by
area. moving slope masses.
Second to the regional association of slope move- The detection process is usually aided by experi-
ments is recognition of their geomorphic indicators enced photogeologic interpretation of air photos.
(Table 5-2). Slope movements, by virtue of their dis- Further, identification of regionally important areas
placed earth and rock masses, always result in some of slope movement can lead to procurement of avail-
degree of disruption of landform morphology; most able aerial photographic coverage of such areas, for
@ notably in the production of scarps, swales, undula- individual study. Photo interpretation practice
tions, ground cracking, vegetational stress, slope strengthens the pattern-recognition ability for detec-

57
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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

(Varnes, 1978). Most often, the failure surface will be


complex in some fashion and not strictly circular, as
shown. An example of surface morphology is shown
as Figure 5-7, with a typical cross-sectional view
shown in Figure 5-8.

>
Surficial details of moving slope masses can be ac-
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

curately mapped by pace and compass or by reference


REGION 6 REGION 4 to map contours, utilizing symbols such as are shown
S7 MILLION II? MILLION
in Section 4.

Figure 5-5. Costs associated with repair of major 5.4.4 Causes of Slope Movement

Some natural slopes are found in such geometry and


slope movements along Federal-aid slope angle as to be at a state of near failure. This is
highways in the United States, for usually when the mass properties are marginally able
1973 (From Chassie, R.G. and to resist external and internal forces acting on the
Goughnour, R.D., 1976). slope mass. This is especially true for slopes which are
tion of areas which may now or may have previously old enough to have been sculpted to their present
undergone slope movement. form under climatic conditions and by natural pro-
cesses which are no longer present. As Varnes (1970)
5.4.3 Geometry of Moving Slope Masses reminds us, such slope masses may be triggered into
creep or rapid movement by subtle or sudden changes
An essential follow-up to recognition of potentially in the natural environment surrounding the slope. All
unstable slope masses, is the determination of their too often such changes are the result of mans activ-
geometry. Without understanding of the actual or ities: changing slope geometry, alteration of surface
probable limits of such masses, it is difficult to advise drainage or the internal groundwater regime, or sim-
planners in route or structure selection. However, ply logging or clearing of the slope.
even obvious slope movement masses affecting trans- Some of the specific causes of activated or contin-
portation routes may be quite difficult to define. Of- ued slope movements are:
ten, topographic mapping is necessary to achieve an
Removal of lateral support at the toe by con-
accurate basemap on which to map morphological
features and plot field observations from survey tra- struction cut or on-going erosion
Surcharge at the crown, by construction of struc-
verses of creep-monitoring stations, locations of bore-
holes and borehole instrumentation, seepage features tures, fills, roads, ponded or stored fluids, and
and drainage measures. In this connection, ortho- material stockpiles
Increase in pore-water content or pressure, es-
photographic, contoured basemaps often prove to be
both inexpensive and available on short notice. pecially by ponding or channeling surface water
Determination of the subsurface geometry is ex- on or into ground fractures or otherwise porous
tremely difficult, especially in cases in which the lower zones of the slope mass
Subjecting the slope mass to transitory stresses;
failure surface is actually transitional over tens of
centimeters. This usually requires continuously-sam- seismic, blast, or machine vibrations
pled boreholes and installation and monitoring of
borehole inclination devices, which must be placed so 5.4.5 Data Requirements for Analysis and
as to intersect the failure surface. Obviously, most lkeatment
geometric detection efforts are undertaken in those
instances in which the function of a roadway or struc- Slope movement masses are generally analyzed by
ture has been impaired by a slope movement. By far the various slip-circle methods (Fig. 5-6) of geo-
the best product that can come from agency geologi- technical engineering or by kinetic distribution tech-
cal and geotechnical personnel is detection of poten- niques of geological engineering (Goodman, 1976;
tially unstable masses early in the pre-design stage, so Hoek and Bray, 1981; Coates, 1981). Although the
that mass movement impacts can be avoided through techniques of analyses lie outside of the scope of this
choice of alternate locations or alignments. manual, field exploration personnel should be aware
A series of examples of slope mass geometry for the of the analysis techniques so that they may properly
slunzp sub-category of slide are shown as Figure 5-6 map and sample slope movement masses.

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_
-- __
A A S H T O TITLE MSI 88 Ob39804 O O L L ~ AZ O
~T m

Geologic Constrniiits

Table 5-2.
Landform Types and Susceptibility to Slope Movements
(Rom Rib and Liang, 1978)
Landform or Lands1ide
Topography Geologic Materials Potential'
I. Level terrain 3
A. Not elevated Floodplain
B. Elevated 2
1. Uniform tones Terrace, lake bed
2. Surface irregularities, sharp cliff Basaltic plateau 1
3. Interbedded-porous over impervious layers Lake bed, coastal plain, 1
sedimentary plateau
II. Hilly terrain 3
A. Surface drainage not well integrated
1. Disconnected drainage Limestone
2. Deranged drainage, overlapping hills, associated with lakes
and swamps (glaciated areas only) Moraine 2
B. Surface drainage weil integrated 1
1. Parallel ridges
a. Parallel drainage, dark tones Basaltic hills
b. Trellis drainage, ridge-and-valey topography, Tilted sedimentary rocks 1
banded hills
c. Pinnate drainage, vertical-sided gullies Loess 2
2. Branching ridges, hilltops at common elevation 2
a. Pinnate drainage, vertical-sided gullies Loess
b. Dendritic drainage 2
(1) Banding on slope Flat-lying sedimentary rocks
(2) No banding on slope Clay shale 1
(a) Moderately to highly dissected ridges, uniform
slopes
(b) Low ridges, associated with coastal features Dissected coastal plain 1
(c) Winding ridges connecting conical hills, sparse Serpentinite 1
vegetation
3. Random ridges or hills Clay shale 1
a. Dendritic drainage
(1) Low, rounded hills, meandering streams
(2) Winding ridges connecting conical hills, sparse veg- Serpentinite 1
etation
(3) Massive, uniform, rounded to A-shaped hills Granite 2
(4) Bumpy topography (glaciated areas only) Moraine 2
III. Level to hilly, transitional terrain Talus, colluvium 1
A. Steep slopes
B. Moderate to flat slopes Fan, delta 3
C . Hummocky slopes with scarp at head Old slide1
Note: This table updates Table 2 in the book on landslides published in 1958by the Highway Research Board (Special Report
29, p. 91).
"1 = susceptible to landslides; 2 = susceptible to landslides under certain conditions; and 3 = not susceptible to landslides
except in vulnerable locations.

Information which should be obtained during field Locations of all explorations, samples, instru-
mapping and analysis of slope movement masses ments, survey traverses and monuments
should include: Longitudinal and lateral subsurface profiles
Structural attitudes from adjacent rock, if possi-
ble
Topography of the slope mass (contoured at 0.5 Definition of major geologic/soil units involved
to 2m intervals) in slope mass
0 All deformational features (scarps, fissures, Description of rockhoil lithologies, mineraliza-
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

cracks, etc.) tion, and weathering


Surface water and drainage conditions Description of groundwater regime in and adja-
Probable subsurface slip surface cent to the slope mass

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Mm114d on Subsurface Investigations


MAIN SCARP
111 SLWf FAlLURfINIIMIHOUWfNEOVIUITfRIAL, r-
WRfACfOF R U N I EFOLLOmDIITII% WEAK UPSLOPE

ZONE OF OEPRESSIO!I
OR SUBSIDENCE

DIAGONAL
TENSIONSHEAR

p-%.- --

WRINGS SEEPS
CO!t, Sill" I :y

Figure 5-7. Diagram showing the elements of de-


Figure 5-6. Varieties of slump-type failure that formation of a slope movement mass.
are common in soil units and in soft, Most site reconnaissance maps of
weathered, or altered rock. (Rom slope failures will show these elements
Varnes, 1978). in some form. (&om Sowers and
Royster, 1978)

5.5 UNSTABLE SOIL AND ROCK


ipated in most transportation system subsurface in-
Each year losses from deterioration of natural soil and vestigations. The key to anticipation is empirical data
rock foundation materials for various structures, in- relating to the behavior of individual geologic forma-
cluding transportation systems, exceeds $5 billion in tions or surficial soil units. Nearly all unstable rock is
the United States alone. Damage from expansive soil of the sedimentary variety and is generally repre-
subgrade material in 36 of the 50 states (Lamb and sented by mineral types and size gradations reflecting
Hanna, 1973) results in more than $1.1 billion in
damages per year (Jones and Holtz, 1973). This dete-
rioration is caused by physical and chemical changes
created by moisture changes and ion exchange. The
deterioration results in one of three basic types of
change in the earth material:
Relatively rapid collapse of the natural soilhock
fabric, with significant decrease in volume;
hence loss of structural support
Less rapid volumetric swelling (expansion) of
the earth material, leading to over-stressing of
structures or structural members in contact with
the affected soil or soft rock
Slow slaking or disintegration of soft sedi- Figure 5-8. Cross-section of a typical semi-circu-
lar slope failure in jointed sandstone
mentary rock involved in cut slopes, compacted (Mesa Verde Formation) overlying
embankments or load-bearing surfaces
less-competent shale (Mancos Forma-
As in the case with several other geologic con- tion) and affected by active river ero-
straints, unstable soil or rock can be detected or antic- sion. (Gedney and Weber, 1978)
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

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Geologic Constraints

its mode of deposition. To the degree that individual this is the geologic formational list of potential prob-
geologic formations or subunits of the geologic litera- lem units complied by Snethen, and others (1975);
@ ture, such as members or named beds, can be identi- certain units usually demonstrate a potential for ex-
fied, so can the mineralogy and depositionally-related pansion when under the effect of increased pore water
fabric characteristics bed anticipated. An example of (Table 5-3).

Table 5-3.
Tabulation of Potentially Expansive Materiais in the United States

Physiographic Province predominant


Location of Map*
No. Name Geologic Unit Geologic Age unit Category Remarks
1 Western Reefridge Miocene CA 1 The Tertiary sec-
Mountains of Monterey Miocene CA 1 tion generally
the Pacific Rincon Miocene CA 1 consists of in-
Coast Range Teinbler Miocene CA 1 terbedded
Tyee Eocene OR 3 sandstone,
Umpqua Paleocene- OR 3 shale, chert,
Eocene and volcanics
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

Puget Gp Miocene WA 3 Interbedded


sandstones and
shales with
some coal
seams
2 Sierra Cascade Cascade Gp Pliocene OR 4 Predominate ma-
Columbia Gp Miocene WA 4 terial is volca-
Volcanics Paleozoic to NV 4 nic
Cenozoic Interbedded
Volcanics Paleozoic to CA 4 sandstones and
Cenozoic shales may oc-
cur through-
out, particular-
ly in western
foot hills
3 Pacific Trough Troutdale Pliocene WA 3 Great Valley ma-
Santa Clara Pleistocene CA 3 terials charac-
Riverbank Pleistocene CA 3 terized by local
areas of low-
swell potential
derived from
bordering
mountains.
Some scattered
deposits of be-
ntonite
4 Columbia Plateau Volcanics Cenozoic WA, OR, ID, 4 Some scattered
NV bentonites and
tuffs
5 Basin and Range Valley fill Pleistocene OR, CA, NV, 3 Playa deposits
materials Tertiary UT, AZ, NM, 3 may exhibit
Volcanics TX limited swell
OR, CA, NV, potential.
UT, AZ, NM, Some scattered
TX bentonites and
tuffs
6 Colorado Plateau Greenriver Eocene CO, UT, NM Interbedded
Wasatch Eocene CO, UT, NM sandstones and
Kirkland shale Upper CO, UT, NM, shales
Lewis shale Cretaceous AZ
Mancos Upper CO, UT, NM,
Continued on next page

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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

Table 5-3. (Continued)


Tabulation of Potentially Expansive Materials in the United States

Physiographic Province Redominant Location of Map**


No. Name Geologic Unit Geologic Age Unit Category Remarks
Mowry Cretaceous AZ 1 Interbedded
Dakota Upper CO, UT, NM, 3 sandstones and
Chine Cretaceous AZ 1 shales
Upper CO, UT, NM,
Cretaceous AZ
Jurassic- CO, UT, NM,
Cretacious AZ
Triassic NM, AZ
7 Northern Rocky Montana Gp Cretaceous MT 1 Locally some
Mountains sandstone and
Colorado Gp Cretaceous MT 1 siltstone
Morrison Jurassic MT 3 Locally some sil-
Sawtooth Jurassic MT 3 tstone
Shales, sand-
stones, and
limestones
8 Middle Rocky Windriver Eocene WY, MT 3
Mountains Fort Union Eocene WY, MT 3
Lance Cretaceous WY, MT 1
Montana Gp Cretaceous WY, MT 1
Colorado Gp Cretaceous WY, MT 1
Morrison Jurassic- WY, MT 3
Cretaceous
9 Southern Rocky Metamorphic Precambrian WY 4 Montana and
Mountains granitic rocks 4 Colorado Gps
Metamorphic Precambrian CO 4 may be present
granitic rocks locally with
Metamorphic Precambrian to NM some Tertiary
granitic rocks Cenozoic volcanic and
minor amounts
of Pennsylvania
limestone
(sandy or
shaly). Some
mixtures of
metamorphic
rocks with
sands and
gravels of Poi-
son Canyon fm
10 Great Plains Lance Pliocene WY 1
Fort Union Pliocene WY, MT 2
Thermopolis Pliocene WY, MT 1
Montana Gp Cretaceous WY, MT, CO, 1
Colorado Gp Cretaceous NM 1
Mowry Cretaceous wy, MT, CO, 1
Morrison Cretaceous NM 3
Ogallala Pliocene WY, MT, CO, 3
Wasatch Eocene NM 3 Generally nonex-
Dockum Triassic WY, MT, CO, 3 pansive but be-
Permian Red Permian NiM 3 ntonite layers
Beds are locally pre-
Virgillian Series Pennsylvanian WY, MT, CO, 3 sent
Missourian Series Pennsylvanian NM, SD, NE, 3
Desmonian Series Pennsylvanian KS, OK, TX 3
MT, SD
CO, NM, TX
ISS, OK, TX
Continued on next page

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AASHTO T I T L E MSI 8 8 0 0 1 1 6 9 1 730 m

Geologic Constraints

Table 5-3. (Continued)


Tabulation of Potentially Expansive Materials in the United States

Physiographic Province PredomiIiant Location of Map**


No. Name Geologic Unit Geologic Age Unit Category Remarks
NE, KS, OK,
TX, MO
KS, OK, TX,
MO
KS, OK, TX,
MO
11 Central and East- Glacial lake de- Pleistocene ND, SD, MN, 3 Some Paleozoic
ern Lowlands posits IL, IN, OH, shales locally
MI, NY, VT, present which
MA, NE, IA, may exhibit
KS, MO, WI low swell
12 Laurentian Up- Keweenswan Cambrian NY, WI, MI 4 Abundance of
lands Huronian Cambrian NY, WI, MI 4 glacial material
Laurentian Cambrian NY, WI, MI 4 of varying
thickness
13 Ozark and Fayettevilie Mississippian AR,OK, MO 3 May contain
Quachita Chickasaw Creek Mississippian AR, OK, MO 3 some mont-
morillonite in
mixed layer
form
14 Interior Low Meramac Series Mississippian KY 3
Plains Osage Mississippian KY, TN 3
Kinderhook Mississippian KY, TN 3
Chester Series Mississippian KY, IN 3 Interbedded
Richmond Upper Ordovi- KY, IN 3 shale, sand-
O Maysville
Eden
cian
Upper Ordovi-
KY, IN
KY, IN
3
3
stone, and
limestone
cian
Upper Ordovi-
cian
15 Appalachian Dunkard Gp Pennsylvanian- 3 Interbedded
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

Plateau Permian shale, sand-


stone, lime-
stone, and coal
16 Newer Appala- Catoctin Gp Precambrian AL,GA, TN, 4 Metamorphosed
chian (Ridge Lynchburg Gp Precambrian NC, VA, WV, rocks
and Valley) Switt Run Gp Precambrian MD, PA
AL, GA, TN, 4
NC, VA, WV,
MD, PA
AL, GA, TN, 4
NC, VA, WV,
MD, PA
17 Older Appala- Carolina Slate Paleozoic AL, GA, NC, 4 Metamorphosed
chian GP SC, VA, MD and intrusive
rocks
Kings Mountain Paleozoic AL, GA, NC, 4
GP SC, VA, MD
Brevard Gp Paleozoic AL, GA, NC, 4
SC, VA, MD
18 Triassic Lowland Newmark Gp Triassic PA, MD, VA 4
19 New England Glacial Till Pleistocene and ME, NH, VT, 4 Glacial deposits
Maritime Ordovician MA, CT,RI, underlain by
O through Devo-
nian
NY nonexpansive
rocks. Local
Continued on next page

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Maniral on Subsurface Investigations

Table 5-3. (Continued)


Tabulation of Potentially Expansive Materials in the United States

Physiographic Province Predominant Location of Map**


No. Name Geologic Unit Geologic Age Unit Category Remarks
areas of clay
could cause
some swell po-
tential
20 Atlantic and Gulf Talbot and Wico- Pleistocene NC, SC, GA, 4 Interbedded
Coastal Plain mico Gps VA, MD, DE, gravels, sands,
NJ silts, and clays
Lumbee Gp Upper Cre- NC, SC 3 Sand with inter-
taceous mixed sandy
Potomac Gp Lower Cre- DC 3 shale
taceous Sand with defi-
Arundel Fm Lower Cre- DC 1 nite shale
taceous zones
Continental and Pleistocene to FL 4
marine coastal Eocene Sands underlain
deposits by limestone,
local deposits
may show low
swell potential
Yazoo Paleocene AL, GA, FL, 1 A complex inter-
Porters Creek through MS, LA, TN facing of
Selma Pleistocene gravel, sand,
Loess Pleistocene 4 silt, and clay.
LA, MS, TN, Clays show
KY varying swell
potential
Mississippi al- Recent LA, MS, AR, 3 A mantle of uni-
uvium MO 1 form silt with
Beaumont-Prairie Pleistocene 1-3 essentialy no
Terraces LA, MS, TX swell potential
Jackson, Paleocene 1-2 Interbedded
Claiborne, LA, MS 3 stringers and
Midway Upper Cre- 1-3 lenses of sands,
Navarre, Taylor, taceous TX 3 silts, clays,
Austin 4 marl, and
Eagleford, Wood- Upper Cre- Tx chalk
bine taceous
Washita TX
Fredricksburg Lower Cre-
Trinity taceous TX

Lower Cre- TX
t aceous

Lower Cre-
taceous

5.5.1 Expansive Soil and Rock United States that the Federal Highway Administra-
tion (FHWA) has commissioned an intensive four-
Soil and soft sedimentary rock containing relatively year study of expansive earth materials (Snethen,
large amounts of expansive clay minerals such as illite D.R., Johnson, L.D. and Patrick, D.M., and others,
and the smectites in general (the variety mont- 1978). This work represents the state-of-the-art for
morillonite in particular) are themselves capable of detecting swelling soil materials, assessing their po-
exerting enormous swell pressures on engineered fa- tential for swelling and designing subgrades to mini-
cilities. The magnitude of this damage to transporta- mize such swelling.
tion structures over the years has been so large in the Expansion is caused by the extraordinary ability of

U4 --`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

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Geologic Constraints

certain swe ing clay minerals to take on unusually also be measured against the type of roadway or
large amounts of water in relation to the bulk of their structure contemplated. For example, areas in low-
0 own individual mineral platlets and to molecularly
bind such water. Next to clay mineral type, soil fabric
expansion potential may still represent distinct design
considerations for design of some pavements and
is the most important factor in swell potential. Fabric foundation slabs, drilled piers and grade beams.
refers to the structural orientation of the clay mineral Keys to successful identification of expansion po-
platlets, in a range of orientations ranging from com- tential on individualproject work are: (1) to be famil-
pletely dispersed to completely flocculated. iar with regional geologic literature, (2) to be aware of
The FHWANVES study confirmed the traditional the presence and distribution of clay-rich, argil-
geotechnical viewpoint that expansive soil swelling laceous rocks, and (3) to identify such in the course of
pressure is activated mainly by construction activities reconnaissance mapping and later subsurface explo-
or facility operating factors that expose the poten- rations. Additional determinants of use to field per-
tially expansive soil or soft rock to the elements and sonnel in detecting expansionpotential are as follows:
then allow an increase in moisture content to occur.
When expansivematerials are confined by high over-
burden pressures they are both protected from in- Argillaceous (shaly nature)
USCS classification of CH or CL
creases in soil moisture and restrained from expan-
Irregular, pebbly texture on exposed surfaces;
sion. As soon as the overburden is stripped, both
atmospheric moisture (in non-evaporative climatic resembles popcorn
Closely-spaced desiccation cracks during dry
conditions), precipitation, and construction moisture
can be absorbed into the clay mineral components of periods
Slickensides in freshly excavated or trenched
natural ground. Increases in compacted embankment
moisture may also lead to swelling. materials
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

Strain-related damaged to nearby structures


The mechanisms for intake of pore water all oper-
ate on the microscale. The criteria for activation of (the four above-cited indications are from
expansion are: Snethen, 1979)

Swelling clay minerals When an expansion potential is indicated by regional


Exposure to an available source of porewater experience, by reference to the literature (and maps),
Removal of confining stress or placement of or from field indications, additional laboratory testing
compacted materials at a moisture content should be considered. The broad categories of labora-
which is dry of optimum moisture content tory test indicators of expansion potential are as fol-
Soil-fabric-related mechanisms to induce water low:
intake at the platlet level and thereby create
volumetric expansion
Minus 200 screen fractions in excess of 80 per-
Field personnel should be aware of the general cent (although lower percentages may also be
conditions under which expansion can occur and important)
2-micron fractions in excess of 20 percent
should be prepared to identify expansive materials.
Plasticity Indices greater than 20, Liquid Limits
Siiethen (and co-workers, 1975) compiled a series of
five regional maps showing occurrences of swelling greater than 30, Plastic Limits greater than 20
Clay mineral determinations of illite or the
clay soils of the continental United States (Figures 5-9
through 5-13) and Table 5-3. These maps show areal smectites
SEM (scanning electron microscope) determi-
distributions of geological units which contain ar-
gillaceous members and the clay mineral mont- nations of flocculated or semi-flocculated clay
morillonite. The maps are keyed to FHWA regions for mineral fabrics
ease of use by transportation agency personnel. The
map patterns denote generalized expansion poten- Geotechnical engineers will want to consider one or
tials of high, medium, low, or nonexpansive. The user more of the laboratory tests to evaluate the swell
is reminded that the degree of expansion potential potential of such soil or rock materials. The most
varies considerably even at a single site, depending useful of the tests are the one-dimensional, wetted
upon the nature of individual beds of sedimentary consolidation test and the soil-suction thermocouple
rock encountered or upon the thickness and distribu- psychrometer test (Snethen, Johnson, and Patrick,
a tion of surficiai soil units containing expansive clay
minerals. The impact of the degree of expansion must
1977). These tests are discussed in Section 9 and are
referenced in C.

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Manual on Subsiuface Investigations


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Uap tompled by D Y Paliick H ti. Mods and Frebnick L Snilh.


Enpim<.np C e o i o ~a d Rmk'&htnici Ohrion, U. S. Aim;
Enginer Walmays Elpcrinml Slalim. Vicktkig. Ys.

5-9. Distribution of potentially expansive materials in the United States:


FHWA Regions 9 and 10. Snethan et al., 1975

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Geologic Constraints

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Maniial on Siibsurface Investigations

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Geologic Constraints
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Q)

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Manual on Subsutface Investigations

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Geologic Constraints

5.5.2 Collapse-Prone Soil tially unstable soil units are linked to distinct charac-
teristics or properties of each soil.
0 Some underconsolidated engineering soil units of rel-
atively young age (Holocene to Late Pleistocene)
Collapse-prone loess and water-lain, sheet-flood
deposits along the western edges of the Great Plains
have a potential for instantaneous collapse. In most can sometimes be identified by immersion of solid
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cases, the volumetric decrease is associated with fragments of the soil in a jar of water. Potentially
porewater saturation and a dissassociation of silt unstable soils generally disintegrate fairly rapidly
grains and clay mineral platelets which had been pre- with a noticeable sloughing occurring within seconds
viously arranged in an unstable soil structure. In or- of immersion. The following references provide more
der to fall into this collapse-prone category, soils are information on collapse-prone soils: Gibbs and Bara,
usually mixtures of fine sand, silt, and clay-sized ma- 1962; Holtz and Hilf, 1961; and Knight and Dehlen,
terials, with the silt dominating. 1973.
As can be noted from the two cited figures, not ail
soils of similar size gradation and from the same re- 5.5.3 Shale and Clay Shale
gion may prove to be collapse-prone. Slight differ-
ences in the mode of geologic origin, of previous Relatively fine-grained, indurated sedimentary rock
saturation and loading experience of the soil, and the materials, known broadly as shale and clay shale,
nature of its previous porewater chemistry appear to often exhibit durability problems (Fig. 5-15) that can
be the controlling factors. lead to a variety of roadway, cut slope and structural
Much of the collapse-prone soil units in the United failures. These rocks are the rock equivalent of silts
States are associated with the Late Pleistocene loess and clays of soil classification, and these soil types
blanket of windblown silt soils of the Pacific North- were the parent materials for shale and clay shale.
west and those that lie adjacent to the Mississippi Around the world, these rocks are also known as
River and its tributaries. Other collapse-prone soil (Morgenstern and Eigenbrod, 1974) argillaceous sed-
units are found throughout the United States (Dud- iments, claystone, siltstone, mudstone, and mudrock.
ley, 1970). The rock type itself is simple to recognize in outcrop
As Dudley notes (1970), one primary characteristic and in borings; the difficult task is to assess which of
and one primary soil condition are generally responsi- the shales and clay shales exhibit unfavorable engi-
ble for the collapse-prone nature; a loose (large-void neering characteristics. These detrimental aspects of
ratio) structure and a moisture content of less than fine-grained sedimentary rock are usualy grouped as
saturation level. Dudley found that these loose states softening, shrinkage, slaking and swelling.
were represented by a spread of dry unit weight values Underwood (1967) has produced a paper dealing
of from 1100 to 1700 Kg/m3(80 to 104 pcf). Extensive with the classification and identification of all types of
deposits of collapse-prone soils are found in Califor- shales which is useful for geological classification of
nias San Joaquin valley in the form of alluvial fan fine-grained rock for engineering purposes.
deposits spreading outward from ranges of low hills. Shales and associated rock types tend to pose prob-
Both highways and the California Central Water Proj- lems to engineered construction when they possess
ect canal were designed for preconstruction wetting characteristics leading to some form of disintegration
and treatment of these stretches of low-density soils. in service. The variabilities in slaking and related
Entry of water into freshly-exposed cuts or excava- shale phenomena are so wide it is improbable that a
tions in loessal soils leads to rapid widening of vertical universal test can be developed for use by all agencies.
microfractures into piping channels (Figure 5-14) and This recognizes that the factors responsible for unsuit-
associated soil-structure collapse. able shale behavior are varied, as shown in Table 5-4.
Identification of collapse-prone soil units should be Most geologic formational units of fine-grained
niade on the basis of low density and grain size with rocks will exhibit similar engineering behavior
followup laboratory tests involving a saturated throughout their areal exposure. For this reason, it is
oedometer test. Instantaneous collapse on the order imperative for transportation agencies to record the
of 10 to 20 percent should be suspect. Arman (1973) engineering behavior and characteristics of fine-
has developed a recommended color-change field grained rocks as they are tested and utilized on var-
identification test now adopted by the Louisiana ious projects. The Virginia DOT, for example (Noble,
DOT, making use of addition of sodium hexa- 1977) found that Devonian-aged Millboro and
metaphosphate (Calgon, or other brand name) with Brailier Formation black shale would develop chem-
dry soil and addition of distilled water. Obviously, this ically-induced distress when removed from its natural
test may not apply to other locations, but it does in situ state of equilibrium. When exposed to the
indicate that differences between stable and poten- atmosphere and free water, minute pyrite crystals

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Ma?lltd on Subsurface Investigations

5-14. The high erosion potential of loess is here depicted by a runoff-originated piping cavity formed in a
=-hour period of one inch (25 mm) of rainfall. (A. W. Hatheway)

begin to oxidize and produce sulfuric acid which tions of the presence of chlorite and illite. Purdue
leaches calcium from chlorite and carbonates min- University (Deo, 1977) has developed a slake dura-
erals in the rock. The freed calcium can replace po- bility test and a resulting classification of four grades
tassium ions in the illite, causing a minor degree of of shale in terms of potential transportation system
expansion. All in all, the black shale has a high poten- useage.
tial for slaking and disaggregation. Virginia DOT ge- As in the case of all other geologic materials, the
ologists now take special care in identification of the shales must be carefully mapped and classified in the
presence of the black shale and outcrop samples are field in order to identify which units appear to be
inspected carefully for the pyrite grains which begin distinct in terms of slake durability. The more definite
the chain reaction of decomposition. If the pyrite is discriminationbetween units ,the greater the chances
present, then laboratory determinations for clay min- for suitable utilization of at least some of the strata
eral type should be performed to search for indica- encountered in a given project.

72
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Geologic Constraints

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5-15. Slaking shale component of coarse-cobble slope protection. This silty shale has disintegrated in one
season of exposure to the elements in the mid-Central states. (A. W. Hatheway)

5.5.4 Sensitive Clay Soils fabric of dispersed clay platelets. Changes in the ge-
ometry of natural slope areas, such as through road
Certain coastal areas of the northern hemisphere, construction and urban development, have made
notable in the St. Lawrence seaway region of the many locales susceptible to catastrophic loss of shear
United States and Canada and in Scandinavia, have strength and rapid flowage due to the imposition of
extensive deposits of marine clays and silts which were additional loads, earthquake ground stresses or trans-
deposited at elevations above present sea level and in portation-related ground vibrations. Figure 5-16 illus-
the recent geologic past. Although such clay soils trates the striking contrast between undisturbed and
generally appear quite hard and often stand up well as remoulded strengths of these sensitive clays.
natural slopes, they possess a potentially unstable Field personnel should recognize such materials

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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

Table 5-4 component of frozen soil deforms under the struc-


Geologic Factors Responsible for Unsuitable tural load.
Shale Behavior Most authorities agree that frost susceptibility is
linked most directly to soils made up predominantly
Degree of preconsolidation through geologic of particles in the very fine sand through clay fraction.
time Soils with in situ permeability less than about
Nature of cementation bonding individual through c d s e c are most frost susceptible. For
mineral grains permeability less than about c d s e c the suscep-
Mineral content of the shale; presence of tibility begins to decrease due to the more limited
platy minerals such as micas, clay and water flow capacity of these fine-grained soils. Poten-
swelling clay tially frost-susceptible soils are usually considered to
Degree of bedding present be those having more than 3 percent by weight finer
Degree of bedding lamination, alternation of than 0.02 mm. In the absence of hydrometer test
coarse and fine laminae results, there may be reason for concern with soils
Compressive strength (ranges from 0.170 to having more than 10 percent by weight passing the
103 N/m2; 25 - 15,000 psi; Underwood, 1967) No. 200 sieve.
Degree of chemical alteration present
Nature and spacing of jointing
5.6 FLOODING
from general geologic relationships within a given Flooding in the United States results in the loss of
physiographic province as well as their clay-rich and more life than from any other natural hazard. This
apparently stiff nature, their occurrence at elevations loss is about ten times that suffered in the long term
well above sea level as well as below sea level. The silts due to earthquakes. Hydrologic data relating to
and select clay soils will liquefy when shaken or jarred flooding has been collected by the U.S. Geological
in the hand. Laboratory strength testing of undis- Survey since the 1902 Passaic River flood of New
turbed samples will numerically define sensitivity. Jersey. Few locations in the country are without ade-
When properly remolded and re-compacted, these quate means of estimating flood magnitude-fre-

--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---
soils lose their sensitive character. quency relationships. The nationwide data base con-
tains information on historic magnitudes, frequencies
5.5.5 h o s t Heave Susceptibility and extent of flood-prone lands. Most of these data
are developed and analyzed by hydrologists. Geo-
Permafrost conditions exist widely in the northern technical personnel can, however, provide additional,
hemisphere above 50 degrees north latitude. Many site-specificinterpretations from remote imagery and
generalized maps of frozen ground distribution are field mapping that will be useful in determining the
available. Most of them subdivide frozen ground into actual flood extent for relatively small areas which
two categories, continuous, seasonal permafrost and may otherwise be shown incompletely or at a less than
discontinuous permafrost. About 20 percent of the adequate detail for project planning purposes. The
Earths land surface is affected by permafrost condi- primary sources of information relating to local his-
tions as is nearly half of the territory of Canada.
toric and predicted 100-year floods are the U.S. Geo-
Permafrost mitigating designs for transportation sys- logical Survey Hydrologic Atlases and flood hazard
tems add considerably to their costs and routing and maps provided to users through the Federal Emer-
siting generally take this effect into consideration. gency Management Agency. As of 1979, more than
Although the Northerly states, except for Alaska, do
13,000 individual flood hazard maps had been pro-
not have permafrost conditions they do experience
duced.
seasonal ground heave associated with sub-freezing
In all instances, planning engineers and hydrolo-
conditions, frost-susceptiblesoils and available water. gists should see that experienced geologists review the
Gravel capillary break layers or pads, deep founda-
available flood maps in order to detect evidence of
tions and location on topographically high and free-
localized variations in formerly inundated areas, that
draining soils are all methods of combating the heave would affect detailed design of a project.
and accompanying structural damage associated with
freezing ground. In addition to frost heaving, thaw
subsidence, soil creep and slope movements are all 5.7 EROSION
activated by ground frost. Additionally, soil shear
strength is highly temperature dependent. Founda- Sediment is a term covering all forms of earth and
tion soils may undergo long-term creep as the ice rock particles or fragments that are dislodged from

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AASHTO T I T L E M S I 8 0639804 001L703 282

Geologic Constraints

5-16. As shown in this view, the clay soil is stable under static loads, but on the event of dynamic excitation
becomes liquified and viscous. (Courtesy Haley & Aldrich, Inc.)

their natural surroundings during construction activ- Soil structure; a measure of the physical and
ities. Most natural land surfaces have gained an equi- chemical bonds that hold constituent particles
librium condition between slope degree, incident together in opposition to the action of flowing
rainfall and snowmelt, stream flow, vegetation and water and wind.
the particular aspects of exposed soil and rock that Soil texture; the gradation of particle sizes mak-
make these materials resistant to erosion. Any distur- ing up the soil.
bance of the land surface by construction promotes Moisture content; a component of developed soil
erosion, in the form of removal of earth and rock structural characteristics.
particles and fragments by natural agents, mainly Porosity and hydraulic conductivity; (per-
flowing water and wind. Soil is far more susceptible to meability); the ability of a soil to retain or carry
erosion than is rock. The main characteristics of soil groundwater flow.
that are important to erosion resistance and retention 9 Organic content; often provides favorable bind-
of sediment are: ing characteristics in terms of soil structure and

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Manual OH Subsurface Investigations

Figure 5-17. Erosion rills developed in clayey sand in a two-year period, over a slope that has not been
protected by runoff provisions (note geologist's compass for scale). (A. W. Hatheway)

is influential in establishment of vegetation to Interception and concentration of runoff by


assist in erosion control. roadways
Exposure of soil and rock surfaces to the ele-
Sediment damage is estimated to run into the hun- ments before surface treatment and/or revegeta-
dreds of millions of dollars annually in the United tion
States. Minimization of erosion and control of re- Alteration of stream cross sections or bank con-
leased sediment is an essential aspect of transporta- ditions
tion system planning. Planning and design considera- Improper sizing of hydraulic structures, with re-
tions are usually managed by the general design team sulting surface flow and erosion
for transportation projects. Input from geotechnical Improper channeling, piping, and disposal of
personnel is important, however, for a number of runoff collected on the route or site
reasons. The greatest single aspect of erosion poten-
The design team will need considerable geologic
tial is the nature of geologic units that will be exposed
data to assist in mitigating erosion and the production
by construction. Some of this erosion occurs directly
of sedimentation. As geologic units are identified and
at the exposed surface, other erosion occurs as the defined, information relating to the erosion resisting
result of internal flow of pore water in saturated silt characteristics noted above should be compiled and
and sands which result in piping. Both conditions can presented so that each mapped unit may be evaluated
be anticipated on the basis of geological information
for its effect on the sediment control plan. As a guide-
developed in the course of site investigations.
line to this evaluation, the design team can minimize
Necessary construction activities will affect the geo- sediment production along the project alignment by
logic units that are encountered and defined during considering the following factors:
exploration. Specifically, design and construction ac-
tivities that may lead to erosion and sediment produc- Effect of topography in exposing natural mate-
tion are as follow: rials through cuts and fills and in channeling

76
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Geologic Constraints

* surface runoff and stream drainage toward,


across and beyond the project
Relative resistance of each exposed geologic unit
to erosion, both surficial and internal
Procedures to expose raw surfaces of rock and
Available From: Purdue UniversityDndiana State
Highway Commission, West Lafayette, Indiana, 1984
Adams, F. T. and Lovell, C. W. ?Mapping and Pre-
diction of Limestone Bedrock Problems,? Purdue
University, Lafayette, Indiana, N978. Transportation
soil for oniy minimal periods of time Research Board, Washington, D.C., pp. 1-5, 1984.
Maintenance methods that will minimize the
impact of sediment on sediment control struc- Arman, A. ?Identification of Collapsable Soils.? In
tures installed as part of the project Louisiana Highway Research Record No. 426, pp.
14-22, 1973.
The main types of erosion should be kept in mind Ayre, R. S.; Mileti, D. S.; andTrainer, P. B. ?Earth-
during field mapping. Observation of examples of quake and Tsunami Hazards in the United States.?
these types of erosion that are currently present in the Univ. of Colorado, Inst. of Behavioral Science, Mon.
site area form an important part of the environmental NSF-RA-E-75-005, 1975.
baseline and are important factors for the design team Ballard, R. F. ?Cavity Detection and Delineation
to take into consideration during formulation of its Research: Report 5, Electromagnetic (Radar) Tech-
sediment control plan: niques Applied to Cavity Detection.? Waterways Ex-
periment Station, Department of the Army, Techni-
Sheet erosion: dislodgment of soil particles by cal Report GL-83-1. Available From: National Tech-
the impact of individual rain drops and transport nical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia,
of the particles by surface runoff. 1983.
Rill and gully erosion: formation of semi-
parallel drainage channels separated by ridges Beck, F. B. (Ed.). ?Sinkholes: Their Geology, Engi-
of about equal volume (Figure 5-17). Rills are neering, and Environmental Impact,? Conference on
the smallest and first indication of channeling of Sinkholes, Orlando, Florida, Accord, Massachusetts:
the runoff and removal of particles. Rills A. A. Bakema, 1984.
become gullies in the depth range of 0.5 to 1.0 m Bendel, L. Ingenieurgeologie: Ein Handbuch fuer
O (1.5 to 3 ft.) and guliies become stream valleys
and channels as they grow and coalesce.
Studium und Praxis. Springer-Verlag, Vienna, Vol. 2,
1948.
Stream channel erosion: the third stage in ero-
Bishop, A. W. ?Progressive Failure, With Special
sion channeling; individual water courses sepa-
Reference to the Mechanism Causing It. ?Geotech.
rated by much broader intervals of relatively
Conf. on Shear Strength Prop. of Natural Soils and
uneroded terrain.
Rocks, Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Oslo,
Wind erosion: the more equal removal and
P ~ o c .Vol. 2, pp. 142-150, 1967.
surface transport of individual particles across
relatively even surfaces of terrain. Bjerrum, L. and Jorstad, F. A. ?Stability of Rock
Slopes in Norway.? Norwegian Geotechnical Institute,
In addition to qualitative observations of erosion &bl. 79, pp. 1-11, 1968.
susceptibility or potential in the field, some Agencies Blong, R. J. ?A Numerical Classification of Selected
conduct studies of the erosion resistance that can be Landslides of the Debris Slide-Avalanche-Flow
designed and built into engineered earthwork. The Type.? Engineering Geology, Vol. 7 , No. 2, pp.
California DOT, for example, has constructed a rain 99-114, 1973.
simulation tower which is used to evaluate erosion
Bowen, R. ?Geology in Engineering,? Whittier Col-
resistance. Soils of various textures, bonded by differ-
lege, California, Monograph, Essex, England:
ent cementation additives and surface bonding treat-
Elsevier Applied Science Publishers, Limited, 1984.
ments, and placed by various compaction techniques
and energy levels can be tested. Bragg, G. H., Jr. and Zeigler, T. W. ?Design and
Construction of Compacted Shale Embankments-
Volume 2, Evaluation and Remedial Treatment of
Compacted Shale Embankments.? Federal Highway
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5.8 REFERENCES Administration Report No. FHWA-RD-75-62, Wash-


ington, D.C., 1975.
Adams, F. T. and Lovell, C. W. ?Geotechnical Prob- California Division of Highways. ?Bank and Shore
@ lems in the Karst Region of Southern Indiana,? Pur-
due University, Lafayette, Indiana, JHRP-84-12,
Protection in California Highway Practice.? Califor-
nia Division of Highways, Sacramento, 1960.

77

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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

California Foundation Manual, Office of Structure Eckel, E. B. (Ed.). Landslides and Engineering
Construction, Sacramento, California: Department Practice. Highway Research Board, Special Report
of Transportation, 1984. 29, 1958.
Chassie, R. G. and Goughnour, R. D. National Eden, W. J. and Mitchell, R. J. The Mechanics of
Highway Landslide Experience. Highway Focus, Landslides in Leda Clay. Canadian Geotechnical
Vol. 8, NO. 1, pp. 1-9, 1976 Journal, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 285-296, 1970.
Coates, D. F. Rock Mechanics Principles: Canada Federal Highway Administration, Denver, Colorado.
Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology (CAN- Workshop on Swelling Soils in Highway Design and
MET), Monograph 874, Ottawa, Ontario, Revised Construction, Proc. September 1967.
Ed., 1981.
Fisher, C. P.; Leith, C. J.; and Deal, C. S. An
Collins, T. Bibliography of Recent Publications on Annotated Bibliography on Slope Stability and Re-
Slope Stability Landslide. The Slope Stability Re- lated Phenomena. North Carolina State Highway
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Colorado State Department of Highways. A Review Springfield, Virginia, PB 173 029, 1965.
of Literature on Swelling Soils. 1964. Fischer, J. A., Szymanski, J. S . , Fox, R. H. Founda-
--`````,,`,``,,,````,,```,`,,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

Cooper, S. S. Cavity Detection and Delineation Re- tion Design For a Cavernous Limestone Site, Geo-
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Cox, D. C. and Pararas-Carayannis, G. Catalog of ing of Nuclear Facilities in Karst Terrains and Other
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Virginia, 1983. Gedney, D. S. and Weber, W. G., Jr. Design and
Construction of Soil Slopes. In Landslides-Anal-
Davies, W. E. Map of Cavernous Areas of U.S. ysis and Control. Schuster, R. L. and Krizck, R. J.
The National Atlas of the United States, (Plate 77), (Ed.) Transportation Research Board Special Paper
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Deo, P. Shales as Embankment Materials. Unpbl. Gibbs, H. J. and Banra, J. P. Predicting Surface
PhD dissertation, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, In- Subsidence from Basic Soil Tests. U.S. Bureau of
diana, 1972.
Reclamation, Soils Engr. Rept. EM-658, Denver,
Diller, D. G. Expansive Soils in Wyoming High- Colorado, 1962.
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Hghway Design and Construction, D. R. Lamb and
ing. West Publishing Company, 1976.
S. J. Hanna, (Ed.), prepared for Federal Highway
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250, May 1973. Swelling Soil Types. Canadian Geotechnical Jour-
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Dudley, J. H. Review of Collapsing Soil. R o c .
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NO. SM3, p. 925-947, 1970. Natural Slopes. Journal of Soil Mechanics and Foun-

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Geologic Constraints

dations Division, American Society of Civil Engi- Salisbury, Rhodesia, The Rhodesian Inst. of Engrs.,
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Hoek, E. Bibliography on Slope Stability. In Flan- Kreitler, C. W. Lineations and Faults in the Texas
ning Open Pit Mines (Van Rensburg, P. W. J., Ed.), Coastal Zone. University of Tam, Austin, Bureau
Proc., Open Pit Mining Symposium, Johannesburg, of Economic Geology, Report of Investigatio& 85,
South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, pp. 1976.
365-388, 1971. Kreitler, C. W. and McKalips, D. C.Identification
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London, 1981. Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin,
Holtz, W. G. and Gibbs, H. J. Engineering Proper- 1978.
ties of Expansive Clays. American Society of Civil Krinitzsky, E. L. and Kolb, C. R. Geological Infiu-
Engineers, Proc. Vol. 80, Separate No. 516, October ences on the Stability of Clay Shale Slopes. 7th
1954. Symp. on Engrg. Geology and Soils Engrg. ,Moscow,
Holtz, W. G. Expansive Clays-Properties and Idaho, Idaho Department of Highways, Univ. of
Problems. Quarterly, Colorado School of Mines, Idaho, and Idaho State Univ., R o c . pp. 160-175,
Vol. 54, No. 4, pp. 89-125, October 1959. 1969.
Holtz, W. G. and Hilf, J. W. Settlement of Soil Ladd, G. E. Landslides, Subsidences, and Rock-
Foundations Due to Saturation, Froc., 5th Intl. falls. American Railway Engineering Association,
Conf. on Soil Mech. and Found. Engr., Vol. 3, pp. ROC. Vol. 36, pp. 1091-1162, 1935.
673-679, 1961. Lamb, D. R. et al. Roadway Failure Study No. I:
Holtz, W. G. Bibliography on Landslides and Mud- Final Report, prepared for Wyoming Highway De-
slides. Building Research Advisory Board, National partment by University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyo-
Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., 1973. ming, August 1966.
Holzer, T. L. Research at the U.S. Geological Sur- Lamb, D. R. and Hanna, S. J. Summary of Proceed-
@ vey on Faults and Earth Fissures Associated with ings of Workshop on Expansive Clays and Shales in
Highway Design and Construction. Federal High-
Land Subsidence. Geological Soc. America, Engi-
neering Geology Division, Boulder, Colorado, The way Administration, FHWA-RD-73-72, Washington,
Engineering Geologist, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 1-3,1980. D.C., May 1973.
Hutchinson, J. N. Mass Movement. The Encyclo- Lane, K. S. Stability of Reservoir Slopes. Failure
and Breakage of Rock (Fairhurst, C., Ed.) 8th Symp.
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pedia of Geomorphology (Fairbridge, R. W. , Ed.),


1968. on Rock Mechanics, American Institute of Mining,
Metallurgy and Petroleum Engrs. , New York, Proc.
Jennings, J. E., and Robertson, A. M. The Stability pp. 321-336, 1967.
of Slopes Cut Into Natural Rock. Proc., 7th Int.
Conf. on Soil Mech. and Found. Engineering. Larew, H. G., et al. Bibliography on Earth Move-
ment. Research Laboratory for Engineering Sci-
Johnson, L. D. Review of Literature on Expansive ence, Unk. of Virginia, Charlottesville; NTIS ,
Clay Soils. Miscellaneous Paper S-69-24, U.S. Army Springfield, Virginia, AD 641 716, 1964.
Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, CE,
Vicksburg, Mississippi, June 1969. Leer, D. K. Problems of High Volume Change Soils
in North Dakota. Workshop on Expansive Clays and
Jones, D. E., Jr., and Holtz, W. G. Expansive Shales in Highway Design and Construction, D. R.
Soils-The Hidden Disaster. Civil Engineering, Lamb and S. J. Hanna (Ed.), prepared for Federal
American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. 43, No. 8, Highway Administration, Washington, D.C. , Proc.
pp. 49-51, August 1973. Vol. 2, p. 256, May 1973.
Knapp, G. L. (Ed.) Avalanches, Including Debris Leggo, P.J. and Leech, C. Subsurface Investigation
Avalanches: A Bibliography. Water Resources Sci- For Shallow Mine Workings and Cavities by the
entific Information Center, US. Department of the Ground Impulse Radar Technique, Ground Engi-
Interior, WRSZC 72-216, 1972. neering, Vol. 16, No. 1, Foundations Publications
Knight, K. and Dehlen, G. The Failure of a Road Limited, pp. 20-33, 1983.
0 Constructed on Collapsing Soil. Roc. 3rd Regional
Conf. for Africa on Soil Mech. and Found. Engr.,
Leighton, F. B. Landslides and Hillside Develop-
ment. Engineering Geology in Southern California.

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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

Association of Engineering Geologists, SpecialPubl., Noble, D. F. Accelerated Weathering of Tough


pp. 149-207, 1966. Shales. VirginiaHighway & TransportationResearch
Louisiana Department of Highways, InSitu Stabiliz- Council, Charlottesville, Virginia, Report VHTRC 78-
ation of Soils at Depth. Interim Progress Report No. R20, 1977.
i, Research Project 63-75, August 1964. Patrick, D. M. and Snethen, D. R. An Occurrence
Loubsen, M. M. Shale in Road Foundations. 4th and Distribution Survey of Expansive Materials in the
Regional Conf. for Africa on Soil Mechanics and United States by Physiographic Areas. Federal
Foundation Engineering, Cape Town, South Africa, Highway Administration, FHWA-RD-76-82, Wash-
Proc. 1971. ington, D.C., January 1976.
Lutton, R. J. Design and Construction of Com- Patton, F. D. Significant Geologic Factors in Rock
pacted Shale Embankments-Volume 3, Slaking In- Slope Stability. Planning Open Pit Mines (Van
dexes for Design. Federal Highway Administration Rensburg, P. W. J., Ed.), Proc., Open Pit Mining
Report No. FHWA-RD-77-, Washington, D.C. Symposium, Johannesburg, South African Institute
1977. of Mining and Metallurgy, pp. 143-151, 1970.
McDonald, E. B, Review of Highway Design and Peck, R.B. Stability of Natural Slopes. Journal of
Construction Through Expansive Soils (195-Missouri Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, American
River West for 135 Miles). Workshop on Expansive Society of Civil Engineers, New York, Vol, 93, SM4,
Clays and Shales in Highway Design and Construc- pp. 403-417, 1967.
tion, D. R. Lamb and S. J. Hanna, (Ed.), prepared Piteau, D. R. Geological Factors Significant to the
for Federal Highway Administration, Washington, Stability of Slopes Cut in Rock. Planning Open Pit
D.C. Proc. Vol. 2, pp. 230, May 1973. Mines (Van Rensburg, P. W. J., Ed.), Proc., Open Pit
McRoberts, E. C. and Morgenstern, N. R. Stability Mining Symposium, Johannesburg, South African
of Thawing Slopes. Canadian GeotechnicalJournal, Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, pp. 33-53, 1970.
Vol. 11, NO.4, pp. 447-469, 1974. Reidenouer, D. R,;Geiger, E. G., Jr.; and Howe, R.
Mitchell, J. K. and Raad, L. Control of Volume H. Shale Suitability, Phase II. Pennsylvania Dept.
Changes in Expansive Earth Materials. Workshop of Trans., Bureau of Materials, Testing and Research,
on Expansive Clays and Shales in Highway Design Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Report No. 68-23, 1974.
and Construction, D. R. Lamb and S. J. Hanna, Rib, H. T. and Liang, T. Recognition and Identifica-
(Ed.), prepared for Federal Highway Administra- tion. Landslides-Analysis and Control. Schuster,
tion, Washington, D.C., Proc. pp. 200, 1973. R. L. and Krizek, R. J. (Ed.), Transportation Re-
Mitchell, J. K. Influence of Mineralogy and Pore search Board, washington, D. C.,Spec. Report 176,
Solution Chemistry on the Swelling and Stability of pp. 34-80, 1978.
Clays. 3rd Int. Res. and Engrg. Conf. on Expansive Ritchie, A. M. Evaluation of Rockfall and its Con-
Clay Soils, Haifa, Israel, Proc. Vol. II, pp. 11-26, trol. Highway Research Record, No. 17, 1963.
August 1973. Ruth, B. E. and Degner, J. D. Characteristics of
Mitchell, R. J. and Markell, A. R. Flowsliding in SinkholeDevelopment and ImplicationsFor Potential
Sensitive Soils. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Cavity Collapse, Florida University, Gainesville,
Vol. 11, NO. 1, pp. 11-31, 1974. N978, p. 5, Transportation Research Board, Wash-
Morgenstern, N. R. and Eigenbrod, K. D. Classi- ington, D.C., 1984.
fication of Argillaceous Soils and Rocks. Journal of Schuster, R. L. and McLaughlin, J. F. A Study of
the Geotechnical Engineering Division, ASCE, Vol. Chart and Shale Gravel in Concrete. Highway Re-
100, NO. GT10, pp. 1137-1156, 1974. search Board Bulletin, No. 305, pp. 51-25, 1961.
Morris, G. P. Arizonas Experience with Swelling Schuster, R. L. Introduction-Landslides-Analysis
Clays and Shales. Workshop on Expansive Clays and Control. Schuster, R. L. and Krizck, R. J. (Ed.)
and Shales in Highway Design and Construction, D. Transportation Research Board, Washington, D. C.,
R. Lamb and S . J. Hanna, (Ed.), prepared for Fed- Special Report 176, pp. 1-10, 1978.
eral Highway Administration, Washington, D .C., Seed, H. B. Landslides During Earthquakes Due to
Proc. Vol. 2, p. 283, May 1973. Soil Liquefaction. Journal of Soil Mechanics and
Nemcok, A.; Pasek, J.; and Rybar, J. Classification Foundations Division, American Society of Civil En-
of Landslides and Other Mass Movements. Rock gineers, New York, Vol. 94, No. SM5, pp. 1053-1122,
Mechanics, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 71-78, 1972. 1968.

80
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GeoZogic Constrainfs

Sharpe, C. F. S. Landslides and Related Phenomena: Underwood, Lloyd B, Classification and Investiga-
A Study of Mass Movements of Soil and Rock. Colum- tion of Shales. Journal of the Soil Mechanics and
bia Unh. Press, New York, 1938. Foundation Division, ASCE, Vol. 93, No. SMG, pp.
Snethen, D. R., Townsend, F. C., Johnson, L. D., 49-59, 97-116, 1967.
Patrick, M. and Vedros, P. J. A Review of Engineer- U.S. Office of Emergency Preparedness. Interim
ing Experiences with Expansive Soils in Highway Federal Earthquake Response Plan: Executive Office
Subgrades. Federal Highway Administration, Wash- of the President. Washington, Vol. 3, p. 104, 1972.
ington, D.C., June 1975. Varnes, D. J. Landslide s p e s and Processes.
Snethen, D. R.; Johnson, L. D.; and Patrick, D. M. Landslides and Engineering Practice (Eckel, E. B.,
An Investigation of the Cause of the Natural Micro- Ed.), HRB, Special Report 29, pp. 20-47, 1958.
scale Mechanisms that Cause Volume Change in Ex- Varnes, D. J. Slope Movement Qpes and Pro-
pansive Clays. Federal Highway Administration, Re- cesses. Schuster, R. L. and Krizek, R. J. (Ed.)
port FHWA-RD-77-75, Washington, D.C. , 1977. Landslides-Analysisand Control: Transportation Re-
Sowers, G. F. and Royster, D. L. Field Investiga- search Board, Washington,D. C., Special Report 176,
tion. Schuster, R. L. and Krizck, R. J. (Ed.) Land- pp. 11-33, 1978.
slides-Analysis and Control: TransportationResearch Walker, B. F., and Feller, R. (Eds.). Soil Slope
Board, Washington, D. C. Special Report 176, pp. Instability and Stabilization. Proceedings of the
81-111, 1978. Slope Stability Extension Course, Sydney, Accord,
Sporek, M. Historical Catalogue of Slide Phenomena. Massachusetts: A. A. Balkema, 1987.
Institute of Geography, Czechoslovak Academy of Weigel, R. L. Tsunamis. In Weigel, R. L., (Ed.)
Sciences, Brno, Studia Geographica 19, 1972. Earthquake Engineering, pp. 253-306. Englewood
South Dakota Department of Transportation. Ex- Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1970.
perimental Stabiiization-Expansive Clay Shale. Wood, A. M. Engineering Aspects of CoastalLand-
Four Year Report, April 1969. slides. Inst. of Civil Engineers, London, Proc. Vol.

e Teng, T. C.; Mattox, R. M.; and Clisby, M.B. A


Study of Active Clays as Related to Highway De-
sign. Final Report, Mississippi State Highway De-
50, pp. 257-276, 1971.
Wray, W. K. The Principle of Soil Suction and its
Geotechnical Engineering Applications, Texas
partment, 1972. Technical University, N84/3,Proceedings of the Fifth
Teng, T. C.; Mattox, R. M.; and Clisby, M. B. Mis- International Conference on Expansive Soils, Ade-
sissippis Experimental Work on Active Clays. laide, Australia, pp. 114-118, 1984.
Workshop on Expansive Clays and Shalesin Highway Wyoming Highway Department Engineering Geol-
Design and Construction, D. R. Lamb and S. J. ogy Procedures Manual, 1983. Cheyenne, Wyo-
Hanna, (Ed.), prepared for Federal Highway Admin- ming: Wyoming State Highway Department, 1983.
istration, Washington, D.C., Proc. Vol. 2, pp. 1-27,
May 1973. Zaruba, Q., and Mencl, V. Landslides and Their
Control: Bibliography. Elsevier, New York, and Ac-
Tompkin, J. M. and Britt, S. H. Landslides: A Se- ademia, Prague, pp. 194-202, 1969.
lected Annotated Bibliography. 3,Bibliography
10, 1951.

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6.0 ENGINEERING GEOPHYSICS

Geophysical techniques applied to geotechnical in- manner in which geophysical measurements are
vestigations can be categorized into two general made.
groups-investigations conducted from ground sur- Geophysical methods that rely upon the reaction of
face and those conducted in boreholes. Each group is subsurface materials to energy introduced by some
further separable into two basic modes of data gener- deliberate process are typically much more versatile
ation; measurement of either existing earth fields for geotechnical purposes. These active geophysical
(passive) or measurement of fields induced deliber- techniques can be tailored to the needs of particular
ately for the purpose of the investigations (active). investigations. The appropriate equipment can be se-
Investigations conducted from the ground surface lected, the locations for investigation chosen, and the
typically provide information about the subsurface parameters measured in accordance with the specific
both laterally and to some depth, while most of the project requirements (within the ability of geophysi-
borehole investigations, with some exceptions, pro- cal techniques to provide such measurements),
vide detailed information about materials only in the Fundamental to the entire process of making geo-
@ immediate vicinity of the borehole OF between bore-
holes. The existing energy fields and induced energy
physical measurements, and a concept sometimes
overlooked, is selection of the method or methods
fields pertinent to geotechnical investigations in- appropriate to measure or derive the needed parame-
clude: ters, based on a knowledge of how the resulting data
are to be used, and how the data should not be used.
Existing (Passive) Fields Induced (Active) Fiels
In general, a single geophysical technique may not
Gravimetric Seismic
always provide the information needed for engineer-
Electric Acoustic
ing investigations. A combination of several comple-
Magnetic Electric
mentary methods usuaiiy provides more information
Thermometric Electromagnetic
and detail than might be expected. The purpose and
Nuclear Nuclear
limitations of any particular investigation should be
These fields represent those most useful in terms of clearly understood before selecting the approach to
the engineering requirements, but others exist that be used. This is because a moderate amount of addi-
might be used under special circumstances (e.g., ran- tional effort in data collection may add a significant
domly-occurring seismic events, ground tilt, and nat- increase in the volume of additional information with
ural electromagnetic fields). somewhat broader application. All potential aspects
The interest in existing energy fields occurs because of an investigation purpose should be considered in
the strength of the field at any particular point can terms of what the geophysical methods can provide.
reflect the geological conditions present between the A more cost-effective investigation can often be de-
point and the source of the field, such as proximity of signed so that the need for later geophysical surveys
bedrock, varying stratigraphic or hydrologic condi- can be avoided.
tions, or mineral changes indicative of the stratigra- General texts describing the nature and measure-
phy present. The geologic conditions which result in ment of the geophysical fields of interest include
measurable geophysical anomalies may be due to Rogers (1973), Stacey (1969), Parasnis (1966), Grant
geologic conditions which are of little significancein a and West (1965), Dobrin (1960), and Nettleton
@ geotechnical investigation. Furthermore, interpreta- (1940). Practical and theoretical bases for elastic wave
tions of anomalies may be ambiguous since an anom- propagation in the earth are given by Cagnaird
aly may be due to natural geologic conditions or to the (1962), Musgrave (1967), Ewimg, Jardetsky, and

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83
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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

Press (1957), and Love (1944). Gravity is treated tion increasing as the density of observation points or
thoroughly by Parasnis (1962) , electrical phenomena rate of observation is increased.
by Van Nostrand and Cook (1966), Mooney and Table 6-1 lists the geophysical methods against
Wetze1 (1956), and Guyod (1944), and electromagne- common engineering parameters that can be pro-
tic waves by Wait (1962). Details of additional geo- vided from application of each, or where the method
physical fields are presented below in the discussions can provide closely related informationn that pro-
regarding each particular method as applied to engi- vides a strong contribution to the parameter identi-
neering investigations. fied. A numerical rating is included in the table to
indicate whether the parameter is measured or calcu-
lated directly from the measurements made, if the
6.1 USE OF DATA parameter is more or less directly inferred from the
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measurements, or if the measurements simply pro-


The data derived from geophysical investigationsusu- vide contributory information that would not identify
ally have to be interpreted by experienced geophysi- the parameter by themselves. Table 6-2 indicates
cal analysts prior to use by engineering geologists or which geophysical methods can be used to investigate
geotechnical engineers. Interpretations are both di- geologic conditions which may be important in the
rect (calculations from established formulae or tab- siting of transportation routes. Limitations of some of
ulation of data readings), or extrapolations based the methods make several of those shown less useful
upon the experience of the individual data analyst. than might be initially expected, and some comments
In all but a few applications,such as reconnaissance regarding actual usefulness are reflected in the discus-
investigationsfor example, the results of geophysical sions of the following sections.
investigations should always be supported by direct General references dealing with applications of
observation of subsurface conditionsby means of bor- geophysical methods for geotechnical investigations
ings, test pits, trenches, outcrops and other geological include: U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers (1943,
information. Such direct measurements will assure 1979); Ballard and Chang (1973); Cuiley (1976);
that subsurface conditions not measured by the geo- Enslin (1953); Golder and Soderman (1963);
physical methods are discovered and support or ne- Griffiths and King (1965); and Bison Instruments
gate interpretations made on the basis of geophysical (1977). Specific applications for highway investiga-
methods. Each geophysical technique has facets that, tions are discussed by Black (1973); Lawson, Foster,
if not recognized, can cause serious misinterpretation and Mitchell (1965); Love (1967); Malott (1967);
or misuse of the results. Awareness of the potential Mayhew, Struble, and Zahn (1965); Patterson and
for error must be recognized annd anticipated so that Meidav (1965); and West and Dumbleton (1975).
proper calibration of the results is possible. Tunneling applications are included in papers by
Measurements of the existing geophysical fields Schwarz (1972) and Scott, and others, (1968), with
and resulting interpretations range from detailed representative investigations for dams discussed by
gravimetricplan maps showing relative depth of bed- Gogoslovsky (1970), and Cratchley, and others,
rock (or actual depth if appropriately calibrated) to (1972). A sinkhole problem examined by geophysical
the identification of zones and flow rates of moving techniques is described by Enslin and Smit (1955),
groundwater penetrated by boreholes. In each case, and a groundwater investigation by Foster (1951).
the density of surface observation stations (gravity, The references above represent approaches that in-
magnetics, electrical) or frequency of borehole re- clude use of more than one geophysical technique.
cording or measurement points (electrical, nuclear, Additional case histories and specific applications for
thermometric) establishes the resolution level of the particular techniques are also identified in discussions
data collected. The basic sensitivity of current instru- of individual geophysical techniques, given below.
mentation is sufficient to measure existing fields at the
levels useful to geotechnical investigations.
Induced-field geophysical techniques are more 6.2 SCHEDULING
widely used than passive techniques. Joint use of both
induced and existing fields is common in some types Geophysical investigation techniques are generally
of investigations. Selection of the method used in the applicable to some degree throughout a project life-
induced case can be based upon a need for depth of time, ranging from the initial investigative phases
coverage (seismic, electrical, electromagnetic), through the final design phase.
versus the specific type of information needed (seis- The widest use of engineering geophysics occurs as
mic , acoustic, nuclear, electrical). Resolution capa- an integral part of the initial site explorations, espe-
bility is also selectable to some degree, with resolu- cially in phased investigationsor to generally provide

84
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Engineering Geophysics

Table 6-1.
Geophysical Field Methods

EXISTING FIELDS INDUCED FIELDS


A

, \
E
1
e
T C
G h t
r e r
a r O
V E M m A E m
i 1 a O N S C 1 a N
m e g m U e O e g U
e C n e C i U C n C
t t e t 1 S S t e 1
r r t r e m t r t e
i i i i a i i i a
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1
C C C C r C C C C r
P-Wave Velocity 3 1
S-Wave Velocity 1
Resistivity/ 2 1 1
Conductance
Temperature 3 1 3
Density 2 3 3 1 2 2 3 3 1
State of Stress 2 2
Shear Modulus 3 3
Youngs 3 3
Modulus
Poissons Ratio 1
Corrosion 3 2 2 3
Potential
Permeability 3 3 3 3 2 2 3 2
Saturation 3 2 2 2 2 3 1
Aquifers 3 3 2 3 1 2 3 2
Groundwater 3 2 2 2 1 1 3 2
Table
Groundwater 2 2 3 2 2
Flow
SoiilRock Ifrpe 2 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 3
Depth to Bedrock 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1
Material 2 2 2 2 1 2 1 1
Boundries
Strata Dip 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 1
Lateral 2 2 3 2 1 2 2 1
Changes
Obstructions 3 1 2 2 1 3
Rippability 2 2 2 3 3
Fault 2 2 2 1 3
Detection
Cavity 2 2 2 1 3
Delineation
1. Direct measurement, or calculated from measurement
2. Inferred from measurement or calculation
3. Combined with other data to develop inference.

information between widely spaced point observa- ing geophysics techniques should be used (i.e. , at
tions (i.e., boreholes, test pits, outcrops, etc.). Re- what point in time a particular parameter must be
liminary geophysical explorations (following a review known in the decision process). The need for some
of geological, topographical, and ownership condi- methods is sometimes also identified during the inves-
tions) can lead to realignment or site rejection or can tigation of a site by other geophysical techniques.
@ indicate the need for additional explorations. Table For major projects, use of geophysics is ordinarily
6-1 is helpful in determining when various engineer- defined before the field investigations begin since the

85
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Table 6-2.
Uses of Engineering Geophysics in Geological Investigations of 'Ikansportation Routes
Geological Conditions Useful Geophysical Techniques
to be Investigated Surface Subsurface
Stratified rock and soil units Seismic Refraction Borehole Logging
(depth and thickness of layers)
Depth to Bedrock Seismic Refraction Borehole Logging
Electrical Resistivity
Depth to Groundwater Table Seismic Refraction
Electrical Resistivity
Location of Highly Fractured Electrical Resistivity Borehole TV Camera
Rock andor Fault Zones
Bedrock Topography (troughs, Seismic Refraction, Gravity
pinnacles, fault scarps)
Location of Planar Igneous Gravity, Magnetics, Seismic
Instrusions Refraction
Solution Cavities Electrical Resistivity, Gravity Borehole TV Camera
Isolated Pods of Sand, Gravel, Electrical Resistivity Borehole Logging
or Organic Material
Permeable Rock and Soil Units Electrical Resistivity Borehole Logging
Topography of Lake, Bay, or Seismic Reflection (acoustic
River bottoms sounding), side-scan sonar
Stratigraphy of Lake, Bay, or Seismic Reflection (acoustic
River Bottom Sediments sounding)
Lateral Changes in Lithology of Seismic Refraction, Electrical
Rock and Soil Units Resistivitv

role of the eventual results is well known in the design 6.3.2 Investigation Plan Map
process. On smaller projects the use of geophysical
methods is sometimes deferred until it is determined A geophysical investigation plan shows the points of
that more traditional investigations cannot provide exploration activity within the project coordinate sys-
the required information, or that geophysical tech- tem.
niques will provide the needed information on a more
timely or more cost-effective basis. 6.3.3 Data Results

Maps, cross-sections and profiles are used as appro-


6.3 PRESENTATION OF RESULTS priate to display raw data measurements, results of
calculations from the measurements, or interpreta-
The methods of presenting engineering geophysical tion of the meaning of the measured and calculated
results are as varied as the range of parameters listed. values. Many results may be contoured, or discrete
The specific need should be identified prior to investi- levels of response can be patterned similar to geologi-
gation, and the method of presentation should be cal mapping as a means of showing different physical
chosen on the basis of the needs. The following items conditions in both aerial and cross-section views.
should be considered when selecting the method of Borehole data may be presented in a continuous
data display: depth vs. response level chart or as tabulation of
response at discrete depths or depth intervals.
6.3.1 Site Locus Map All separate reports of geophysical investigation
results should include an explanatory text that pre-
The site locus map is used to identify the geographical sents the following minimal information:
location of the investigations and to provide site orien-
tation with reference to the project coordinate sys- Purpose and Scope of the Investigation O
tem. Dates and Locus of Investigation

86
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Engineering Geophysics

Personnel and Organizations Involved waves between boreholes. This c c ~ r ~ ~ ~ method


hole77
Amount of Data Collected permits calculation of bulk engineering parameters
Quality (Reliability) of Data Collected (e.g., Youngs modulus and Poissons ratio) under
Method of InvestigatiodEquipment Employed dynamic stressing and under in situ conditions. Use of
Method of Analysis and Interpretation the method is becoming standardized for larger proj-
Interpreted Results ects because the parameters derived are useful in the
Summary and Recommendations (as appropri- design of underground openings and in earthquake
ate) engineering.
Seismic reflection investigations on land have
Charts, figures, and tabulations should be used somewhat limited use because of energy generation
routinely to document the results. problems. However, shockwave energy is transmitted
Where such data are available, the report should very well in a fluid medium, and reflection techniques
also include correlative or contradictory results of have wide use in marine investigations (lakes and
other investigations, particularly if the data are im- rivers, as weil as ocean surveys). The marine applica-
portant to interpretation of the geophysical results. tion of reflection is sometimescalled Acoustic Profil-
The sources of such information must also be identi- ing, and it is very effective in providing anessentially
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fied. Experienced investigators will also include com- continuous representation of bottom and subbottom
ment about or an estimate of the accuracy of the boundaries between materials of different physical
results of their investigations to aid in resolving any characteristics.
conflicts between geophysical and supporting geolog- Other geophysical methods that have specific ap-
ical data. plication in certain instances are available, and can be
used for investigations of a somewhat unique nature.
Devices that permit detection of subaudible rock
6.4 MAJOR METHODS noise can be effective in providing information about
the state of stress in soil and rock bodies (from the
Induced energy fields are the most widely employed strains that are occurring) or for establishing the rates
geophysical approach. Seismic refraction and electri- of slippage as indication of impending failures. Bore-
0 cal resistivity are the techniques most familiar to the
geotechnical community. Related methods, such as
hole TV cameras are used to provide a direct visual
image of material conditions in the borehole walls that
seismic reflection, seismic surface wave analysis, and might only be inferred from other techniques, espe-
electromagnetic techniques are ordinarily employed cially in zones of shattered rock where core is not
only where the need for the specific capability can be recovered.
identified. While many other geophysical techniques are avail-
Gravity and geomagnetic measurements have ex- able in certain types of investigations, those above
perienced increasing use in recent years, primarily for represent methods that have been demonstrated ef-
projects requiring reconnaissance mapping of bed- fective in geotechnical investigations. Several of the
rock elevations for groundwater or geologicalstruc- borehole techniques are currently in a stage of rapid
tural studies. These techniques are not generally fa- development (gravimetry, electromagnetic crosshole
miliar to the geotechnical community, but the basic procedures) and computerizedtreatments of data col-
concepts can be readily understood. lected at ground surface (seismic and resistivity) are
Electrical and nuclear borehole logging can provide constantly in a state of improvement. Additional use
a continuous measurement of material properties im- of geophysical techniques for geotechnical appli-
mediately adjacent to the borehole walls. Very de- cations can be expected as improvements in both
tailed interpretations can be derived from the logs by field procedures and analyticalinterpretational ap-
experienced logging analysts. The seismic technique proaches develop.
may also be employed in boreholes, and the tech-
nique is sufficiently advanced to permit computerized
calculation of significant engineering parameters on a 6.5 SEISMIC METHODS
continuous basis throughout the depth of individual
boreholes. Since the range of information beyond the Seismic methods (refraction and reflection) involve

*
borehole wall is limited to a few decimetres (a foot or the measurement of the transmission velocity of me-
so), geotechnical investigations require a good under- chanical waves in soil and rock units. Seismic wave
standing of borehole logging techniques. velocities are controlled by the density of the mate-
One of the more useful borehole techniques in- rials and the presence of discontinuities such as joints
volves measurement of the transit times of seismic and faults. The density of an earth material is affected

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by the mineralogy, porosity (void ratio) moisture con- Table 6-3.


tent, degree of saturation, and degree of fracturing of npical Seismic Wave Velocities of Various Earth
the material. Seismic wave velocities are indicative of Materials*
the gross or bulk nature of these combined material
characteristics. Wave Velocity
To perform a seismic survey, energy is imparted to Metre/
the ground by striking a plate on the ground with a Earth Material FeeiSecond Second
sledge hammer or by setting off an explosive charge at Top Soil
the ground surface or in a borehole. Mechanical or Dry 6OO-9OO 180-275
Moist to Wet 1,000-2,500 305-760
seismic waves propagate from the energy source and Clay, Dense and Wet 3,000-5,900 915-1,800
are detected by geophones placed at known distances Gravel 1,970-2,600 600-790
from the energy source. The travel times of the seis- Cemented Sand 2,800-3,200 855-975
mic waves from the energy source to the geophones Glacial Till 5,600-7,400 1,705-2,255
are measured by a seismograph. The distances of the Weathered and 1,500-10,000 455-3,050
Fractured Rock
geophones from the energy source divided by the Shale 2,600-12,000 790-3,660
travel times indicate the seismic wave velocities of Chalk 6,300-8,000 1,920-2,440
the materials through which the mechanical waves Sandstone 7,200-9,000 2,195-2,745
travelled. Phyllite 10,000- 11,000 3,050-3,350
The velocities of seismic waves in earth materials Granite
Fresh 16,000-20,000 4,875-6,095
are directly proportional to the bulk densities of the Highly Weath- 1,540 470
materials. Seismic wave velocities of rock are gener- ered
ally higher than in soils and unconsolidated sedi- Fractured and 2,200-8,000 670-2,440
ments. Intact rocks will demonstrate higher wave ve- Weathered
locities than fractured rocks, and soils with low Open Joints Present 10,000-13,000 3,050-3,960
Basalt 9,000-14,000 2,7454,265
porosities (void ratios) will demonstrate higher wave Metamorphic Rocks 16,400-20,200 5,000-6,155
velocities than soils with high porosities. The seismic Water 5,000 1,525
wave velocities of saturated earth materials are usu- Air 1,100 335
ally greater than those of partly saturated earth mate- * Data from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (1979).
rials, Table 6-3 demonstrates the differences in seis-
mic wave velocities in different materials. The travel time is the time between the energy shot
Two types of seismic methods may be utilized; seis- and the first arrival of the seismic waves at each of the
mic refraction methods and seismic reflection geophones which is recorded by the seismograph.
methods. Refraction methods utilize the refraction of Plotting the travel time to each geophone against the
mechanical waves at the interfaces of different mate- distance of the geophone from the shot point puts the
rials. Reflection methods utilize the reflection of me- field data into a form from which the seismic velocities
chanical waves at the interfaces. For the purposes of of layers 1 and 2 may be calculated, as well as the
engineering geophysics, refraction methods are best depth of the interface between the two layers. Figure
suited for use n land while reflection methods are 6-2 shows the time-distance plot of data which may be
best suited for use in aqueous environments. obtained from the situation depicted in Figure 6-1.
The inverse of the slopes of the curves are equal to the
6.5.1 Seismic Refraction Method seismic wave velocities in the two layers. The critical
The essential parameters of the seismic refraction distance, Xc, is the distance from the shot point at
method are indicated in Figure 6-1. The figure repre- which the first arrival is a seismic wave which has
sents a two-layer case with horizontal boundaries
where the seismic wave velocity in layer 2 is higher
than in layer 1.The interface between layers 1and 2
may represent the top of bedrock, the groundwater
level, or the contact of two geologic units. Between
the shot point and distance Xc, the first seismic waves
to arrive at the geophones are those that travel
5
through layer 1.Beyond the distance Xc, the seismic LAYER 2,

waves to arrive first at the geophones are those that Figure 6-1. Essential parameters of the seismic
are refracted at the boundary and travel through layer refraction method for a two-layer case
2, where the seismic wave velocity is higher than in with horizontal boundaries. US Army
layer 1. Corps of Engineers (1979)

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I

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~~

GROUND SURFACE \

DISTANCE

Figure 6-2. Time-distance plot of data obtained


during seismic refraction survey of a
two-layer case with horizontal
boundaries. The inverses of the slopes
of the lines are equal to the seismic Figure 6-3. Time-distance plots of data obtained
wave velocities in the two materials. during seismic refraction surveys run
US Army Corps of Engineers (1979) in opposite directions above a two-
layer system with a dipping boundary.
travelled through both layers 1and 2. The curve to the US Army Corps of Engineers (1979)
left of Xc represents the seismic wave velocity in layer
1 while the curve to the right of Xc represents the
seismic wave velocity in layer 2. The curve to the right V2TiL 1
X
of Xc is flatter than the curve to the left of Xc, indicat- DL =?-ai qV,/vl)2 -1
ing that the seismic wave velocity in layer 2 is greater
than in layer 1.
The depth (D) to the interface between layers 1and
2 can be calculated using the equation: where (DL ) and (DR ) are the depths to the interface
on the left and right sides of the profile, respectively.
V2 and are given by the equations:

where (Xc) is the critical distance and (VI ) and (V2 ) V,.%R
are the seismic wave velocities in layers 1 and 2,
v2= COS e>V,L+ V,R
respectively. An alternative method for calculating
the depth to layer 2 is to use the intercept time, Ti,
indicated on Figure 6-2, which is the intercept of the
curve to the right of Xc with the time axis of the time- where (e) is the slope of the interface and (VI), (VzL),
distance plot. In this case: and (V,) are as indicated in Figure 6-3.
The time-distance plots of data obtained from run-
ning seismic refraction surveys across a vertical sub-
surface interface (scarp) are shown in Figure 6-4. The
If the interface between two layers is not horizon- curves are offset because of the steepness of the topo-
tal, the time-distance plots of refraction surveys run in graphic break on the rock surface.
opposite directions and will be different, as illustrated Profiles consisting of more than two layers may be
in Figure 6-3. The critical distance of the refraction analyzed using seismic refraction methods. The seis-
survey advanced from the left to the right is less than mic wave velocities in the layers and the thicknesses of
the cirtical distance of the survey run in the opposite the layers may be determined from time-distance
direction. This indicates that the depth to the inter- plots using equations which are more involved than
face between materials 1and 2 is less on the left side of those already presented. Detailed discussions of mul-
0 the profile than it is on the right side of the profile.
The depths to the interface on either side of the
tiple layer systems are given in Dobrin (1976),
Mooney (1977), and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
profile are given by the equations: (1979).

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Manual on Subsurface Investigations

mograph. A single energy source is used and the


travel times of the seismic waves from the shot point
to the geophones are recorded by the seismograph.
The field setup of a multiple channel unit wili be
similar to the arrangement of geophones shown in
Figure 6-1.
A single channel unit consists of a single geophone
which is connected to a seismograph. When using a
single channel unit, the position of the geophone is
kept constant while the distance between the geo-
GROUND SURFACE
phone and the shot point is increased. The travel
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times of the seismic waves between the shot points


and the geophone are recorded for each shot point
location. The furthest distance between the geophone
and the shot point should be at least as large as the
depth of the deepest geologic unit of interest, and
preferably three times as large as the desired depth of
penetration.
Figure 6.4, Time-distance plots of data obtained Seismic surveys should always be run in opposite
during seismic refraction surveys run directions along a line so that dipping subsurface
in opposite directions across a two- layers or breaks in bedrock topography can be de-
layer system with a sharp vertical tected. When using multiple-channel seismographs,
discontinuity in the boundary. The the line can be reversed by moving the shot point from
discontinuity may represent a sharp one end of the geophone line to the other. When using
break in the bedrock topography or a single-channel seismographs, the direction of the line
subsurface fault scarp. US Army can be reversed by moving the geophone to the posi-
Corps of Engineers (1979) tion of the last shot point on the previous line and
increasing the distance between the geophone and
6.5.1.I Field Methods. When planning seismic re- shot point in a direction opposite to that used in the
fraction surveys, the source of mechanical energy, previous line.
spacing of geophones, and direction of survey lines The geology of a site or transportation route should
must be tailord to the geology of the site and to the be considered when establishing seismic refraction
information requirements of the survey. survey lines. Survey lines should be oriented nearly
Energy may be imparted to the ground by'striking perpendicular to the strike of major geologic struc-
the ground with a sledge hammer, dropping a weight, tures (fault and fracture zones, folds, scarps on the
or by setting off an explosion at or nea